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Mr. Fukuzawa in 1893. 

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lav ion ,>fnirfJ av/ }KrH Ih; ^^ ionnjrj aW .(L) 

iu. t< ' KOq 3JJ11 "' : ' . ' . '/.- > '> Li I 
UK moil ninifiiedji 

(i). Independence and Self-Respect constitute 

(2). We cannot say all that we think, nor yet 

Do all we say : therefore true peace of mind 
Lies in abstaining from all thought. 

r'ac-simile of Scrolls written by Mr. Fukuzawa. 
[Translations preceding page.] 







Professor of Political Economy in Keio Gijuku. 







88 "4 


The materials for this book have been drawn 
from Mr. Fukuzawa's " Autobiography," his " Com- 
plete Works," and the Aitoroku or " In Memo- 
riam of Mr. Fukuzavva " ; and some passages have 
been borrowed from Dr. Murray's " Japan." 

The chapter on the Keio Gijuku may seem 
somewhat too long ; but I beg the reader to 
remember that the history of the institution abounds 
in instructive incidents, and the character and 
principles of its venerable founder are shown with 
advantage in this chapter. 

I am much indebted for some valuable sugges- 
tions to Mr. R. Kitagawa, editor of the Jiji Shimf>6 ; 
and I have also to thank Prof. Dening for cour- 
tesies extended by him. 

Tokyo, January, 1902. 

1927857 . 


Chapter. Page 

Reviser's Note i 

Introduction by Prof. K \DONO v 

I. Introduction i 

II. Parentage and Boyhood 5 

III. Studies at Nagasaki 12 

IV. Studies at Osaka 15 

V. Difficulties of Learning English 24 

VI. First Visit to the United States 29 

VII. The Foreign Policy of the Tokugawa Government ... 36 

VIII. Visit to Europe 43 

IX. The Namamugi Affair 48 

X. Second Visit to the United States 53 

XI. The Meiji Restoration 56 

XII. The Keio Gijuku 69 

XIII. Mr. Fukuzawa as a Writer 86 

XIV. Mr. Fuku/awa as a Journalist 107 

XV. Later Years 118 

XVI. Mr. Fukuzawa's Code of Morals 127 

XVII. Death 134 

XVIII. Personal Appearance, Habits, and Conduct 140 

Appendix A. Mr. Fukuzawa and his Views. By Prof. Dening ... 151 

Appendix B. The Mita System of Ethics and its Detractors. 

ISy Prof. Dening 173 


Mr. Fukuzavva was one of the most remarkable 
Japanese of the present era. His influence unlike 
that of statesmen, soldiers or scientists was not 
direct, visible and measurable. His work as author, 
journalist and educator was to enlighten and train 
the minds, to ennoble and strengthen the character 
of his countrymen. Operating thus on intelligence 
and motive, he rendered preeminent service in fixing 
deep and firm the foundations of the present Japanese 
state and society. This work beneath the surface 
may escape notice, or its importance is likely to be 
underestimated. Foreigners especially may question 
the merits or the greatness of the man. Some may 
search his works in vain for philosophic or scientific 
expositions to rival those of occidental masters. 
Others may regret the absence of Christian dogma, 
or may still more broadly object to the foundations 
of his morality. They forget that such doubts rest 
on standards of judgment which are radically false 
and unjust. LThe works of Mr. Fukuzawa can be 
justly compared only with those of his contemporary 

countrymen. They can be correctly judged only in 
the light of the peculiar environment in which they 
were produced and by which the whole life of the 
author was conditioned, incomparably more rigidly 
than was the life of any Western writer by his 
national environment. Mr. Miyamori's essay amply 
proves this a fact of sufficient importance alone to 
justify its publication. When viewed in this light 
the marvel is that Mr. Fukuzawa could accept, still 
more could teach the superiority of Western civiliza- 
tion that his ethical code was so noble and broad 
in conception and so nearly in accord with the 
precepts of a religion whose dogmas he did not accept 
and against whose creed most influences of environ- 
ment were of a nature powerfully to prejudice him ! 
The wonder should rather be that men who recognise 
the necessity of studying plants and animals with 
exclusive reference to their environment should fail to 
see the equally obvious necessity of judging the 
product of an exclusive and long isolated civilization 
with at least partial reference to the conditioning 

An appreciation of the peculiar work accom- 
plished by Mr. Fukuzawa is essential to a correct 
estimate of the influences which transformed Me- 

diaeval into Modern Japan. Those who seek a 
knowledge of the country, but who cannot read 
Japanese, will therefore doubtless welcome the 
present essay. The hope that its publication 
might make some otherwise inaccessible material 
available to them, that it might also, while assist- 
ing to place an illustrious man in clearer light, 
illustrate the power of individual intelligence and 
character in social evolution, this hope induced 
me to undertake the revision of the manuscript. In 
making corrections, the aim has been to make the 
fewest changes that were consistent with clearness. 
The original form, arrangement, construction and 
wording have therefore been as far as practicable 
preserved. It is my sincere wish that a large circle 
of readers may find in the perusal of this essay as 
much interest and profit as I have. 




Dean of Keio Gijuku. 

Though the fact that our country could have 
come out of the most critical stage of our national 
existence with such signal success can not be due to 
the acts of any one or a few individuals, yet if there 
is one man who has contributed more than any other 
toward the end, I venture to say, Fukuzawa Yukichi 
is that one. This is by no means the vain boast of 
those connected with him, but the opinion endorsed 
by numerous impartial observers in the country. 
However this may be, it is an incontestable fact that 
his personal influence was as great as it can be in the 
case of any person in private position ; so great that 
he was popularly called " the Great Commoner of 

Indeed it is impossible to find a parallel to the 
life of Mr. Fukuzawa in modern societies of Europe 
or America. He is often spoken of as an Arnold or 

a Carlyle of Japan. The comparison gives no just 
idea ; he exercised a far greater influence than the 
designations "scholar" or " writer " would suggest. 
If we try to find his parallel in European history, 
the religious reformers in the period of Reformation 
are the nearest types. But this is only true in 
respect of the wide influence they exerted over the 
society of their time ; for his reformation was not 
confined to the sphere of religion, but covered every 
field of social activities. He was not a politician, 
yet he was fond of political discussion. Not only 
many enlightened politicians came out of his school, 
but also those actually in power in the government 
were often benefited by his advice and admonitions. 
At the same time, he was educating the people by 
his copious writings in books and newspapers and 
thus preparing the way for those enlightened politi- 
cians. The same was the case in matters of religion 
and business. He was not a man of religion, yet he 
knew the need of a sound religion ; nor was he a 
man of business, yet he upheld the modern impor- 
tance of trade ; and it was not seldom that religious 
and business classes were benefited by his advice 
which' he was always ready to give them. The 
great master used to say : " Among the crowd of 

spectators at a play, there is but one person who can 
feel the greatest possible pleasure in the sight ; I 
mean the 'author of the play." He wanted to be 
one. He preferred the part of an author to that of 
an actor and it was well for the country that he 
made this choice. His versatile genius, his power of 
conversation, his lucid style of writing, in short 
almost every quality of his remarkable character 
fitted him for the unique part he was destined to fill 
in our society. We know he succeeded in a great 
measure in being at once the author and spectator 
of one of the most wonderful dramas ever played on 
the stage of History. 

Mr. Miyamori is a graduate of Keio Gijuku and 
is actually a teacher of English in that school 
Such a connection with the subject of his writing, 
though it may not be favorable to the fairness of his 
judgment, has the advantage of intimate knowledge 
and saves him from the superficiality of an outsider. 
Moreover there is Mr. Fukuzawa's story of his own 
life, which, I believe, was the chief source of Mr. 
Miyamori's materials. In his Autobiography, Mr. 
Fukuzawa speaks of his faults as well as his merits 
with a candidness truly remarkable. This can only 
be expected from a man who was convinced that, 

with all his faults candidly revealed, he was yet a 
superior man and rendered a great service to his 
country. The world is prone to appreciate only the 
deeds of politicians and warriors. It is not to be 
wondered at that a man whose actions and teachings 
were chiefly behind the curtain, should remain com- 
paratively unnoticed in the outside world. Mr. 
Miyamori's object in writing this little book was 
perhaps to do something toward ensuring for his 
great master the due notice of those foreigners in- 
terested in our recent eventful history, and I am sure 
that the book will prove a useful contribution to the 
English historical literature. 


Keio Gijuku. 




" A king can mak' a belted knight, 

A marquis, duke, and a' that : 
But an honest man's aboon his might, 

Guid faith, he mauna fa' that ! 

For a' that, and a' that, 

Their dignities, and a' that. 

The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth 

Are higher ranks than a' that.' 


AMONG the great names in the history of the 
present Japanese civilization there is none more 
deserving of notice than that of the late Mr. Yukichi 
Fuk'uzawa, the " Sage of Mita." It is undeniable 
that during the last forty years of marvellous change 
and progress, he most ably guided his countrymen. 

2 .1 Ul<r. Ol< Mr. YL'h'lClIl /CKiy.lir.l. CHAP. 

In 1858, the Tokugawa government concluded 
treaties with Western powers and the doors of Japan 
were opened to foreign intercourse. But this was 
done under the pressure of the powers, and the 
actual opening of Japan was effected only after 
many long years of struggle : for behind her doors 
there still remained a strong wall of anti-foreign 
prejudice. For more than two centuries, the Japa- 
nese had lived in quiet seclusion from the outside 
world. Hence they were in utter ignorance of 
affairs in foreign countries, while their minds were 
tilled with the antiquated principles of Chinese 
learning. They looked down on foreigners as 
barbarians and considered foreign trade as injurious 
to national interests. Even the educated classes 
shared these prejudices. Under the circumstances, 
it was no wonder that the new foreign policy of the 
government provoked most bitter attacks from 
misguided patriots. Then followed a succession of 
assassinations both of foreigners and of native 
scholars of progressive ideas ; and the anti-foreign 
sentiment at last culminated in a long period of 
anarchy and civil war. During this period, the 
Meiji Revolution was effected. While most patriots 
were thus busy with politics and war and the whole 


nation was possessed by excitement, Mr. Fukuzawa 
saw the vital necessity of breaking down the wall of 
prejudice and of introducing Western civilization. 
Voluntarily he assumed the thankless task of aiding 
in this great work ; and steadily, persistently, in the 
face of opposition and personal peril, he played in his 
unique way a most unselfish and important role. 

As the author of " Things Western" and many 
other works, as the founder of the Keio Gijuku, then 
the only institution in Japan where Western learning 
might be acquired, Mr. Fukuzawa performed inesti- 
mable services in opening the eyes of his countrymen. 
It is indeed no exaggeration to say that, but for his 
efforts and for those of his o-workers, Japan might 
have met with the same fate as the present China. 
Furthermore, as a social reformer, as a political 
mentor, as the founder and editor-in-chief of the 
Jiji Sliiiiipd, as a champion of women's rights, as a 
promoter, of commerce and industries, and as the 
author of the so-called " Mr. Fukuxawa's Code of 
Morals," he contributed much more than any other 
man to the building up of the " New Japan." He 
was not a statesman, lie never held office under the 
Imperial Government. He was never a legislator, 
nor was he a leader of armies. He was always an 


untitled subject and a private citizen, living and 
doing his work chiefly with the pen and apart from 
the crowd. Yet nobody has influenced the life and 
thought of his countrymen more deeply and more 
extensively than the " Great Commoner." Those 
who have lived in the present era, whether young or 
old, high or low, are more or less intellectual debtors 
to him. Kven those of our countrymen who differ 
in views from him have received from him a great 
stimulus. There is no town or village throughout 
the Empire where his good influence is not felt. Dr. 
Griffis is quite right in calling him the "intellectual 
father of half the youth of Japan." 

It is true that there have been many other 
scholars who have made efforts for the introduction 
of Western civili/.ation into Japan. But most of 
them influenced only the educated classes. Some of 
them were led astray in their efforts by conservative 
principles, by a sort of " Japanism " if thp term is 
permissible ; and others have devoted their energies 
chiefly to the promotion of the interests of the upper 
classes. Mr. Fukuzawa aimed at thoroughly West- 
ernizing the people at large, and never for a moment 
in his life did he swerve from his purpose. 

The Yorosu Cliolio puts it none too strongly 


when it says, " We can spare Itos and Shibusawas, 
for there can be found many men who are their 
equals and who can fill their places. But we can 
find no successor to the late Sage of Mita." He was 
pre-eminently the greatest benefactor modern Japan 
has had ; and the House of Representatives ap- 
propriately expressed the national sorrrow when it 
passed a unanimous vote of condolence on the 
death of Japan's Grand Old Man. 

How Mr. Fukuzawa struggled against the frowns 
of poverty ; how, surmounting innumerable and 
apparently insuperable obstacles, he acquired Western 
learning ; how, at the imminent risk of assassination, 
he taught his fellow countrymen ; how he continued 
his noble efforts to his last year, a narration of 
these particulars must prove at once interesting and 
instructive to a large circle of readers, both Japanese 
and foreign. With this conviction, and with the 
earnest hope that the present effort to present such 
a narration may prove at least moderately acceptable, 
the following pages are offered to the public. 


MR. Yukichi Fukuzawa was born on the twelfth 
of December, 1834 (the fifth year of Tempo), 

6 \ IJl-K 01- Mr. YUKICHl WKVZ. lll'.t. CHAP. 

at Dojima, in the city of Osaka. He was the 
youngest of five children, of whom the eldest was a 
hoy and the other three were girls. His father, 
Hyakusuke Fukuzawa, was a retainer of Okudaira 
Daizen-no-Taifu, the lord of the Nakatsu clan in the 
province of Bux.en, Kyushu. As an accountant of the 
kurayasJiiki or granary establishment* of his clan, the 
father lived many years in Osaka. He was a samurai 
of subordinate rank and his duty as an accountant 
was generally considered below the dignity of a 
samurai. He was a Chinese scholar trained to 
unquestioning belief in Confucian doctrines. Like 
most Chinese scholars of his day, he regarded 
pecuniary affairs as beneath one's dignity. Naturally 
enough he was dissatisfied with his position ; but 
circumstances did not allow him to choose a more 
congenial occupation. 

Vukichi's mother, Jun, was a daughter of a 
samurai in the same clan. She appears to havr 
been a tender-hearted yet strong-willed woman and 
of a charitable disposition. 

* The clans in central and southern Japan had establishments in 
Osaka, the commercial centre of that region, in order to sell the tribute 
rice collected from farmers. 


Hyakusuke educated his children in the Con- 
fucian doctrines. Some of them were once sent to a 
private tutor who had among his pupils the children 
of merchants. As was customary in a centre 
of commerce like Osaka, this tutor taught the 
children, not only reading and writing, but also the 
multiplication table. When Hyakusuke heard of 
this, he said, " What nonsense to teach children to 
count ! Such a teacher won't do for my children." 
Accordingly he withdrew his children from the 

Hyakusuke died at the age of forty-five. Yukichi 
being then only three years old. The eldest son was 
at that time a mere boy of eleven years, and the 
daughters were under ten. The unfortunate mother, 
with her helpless family, returned to live in Naka- 
tsu, her native town. Owing to her many years' 
residence in Osaka, she had come to speak the 
Osaka dialect ; and her children also differed in 
language and manners from their neighbors. This 
naturally inclined them to avoid making intimate 
friends of their neighbors and relations. The 
children usually stayed at home and played with 
each other. Owing in part to the teachings of their 
dead father and in part to the influence of their 


kind-hearted mother, they were well behaved. They 
never quarreled with one another and never visited 
theatres or other places of amusement. Theirs was, 
indeed, a happy home. 

The family received a monthly allowance from 
the clan, but it was so small that they could not 
afford to employ a servant. The mother, assisted by 
the elder children, performed all the household 
duties. When he became old enough, Yukichi too 
helped his mother, pounding rice, cooking food, and 
cultivating some land. He was expert in manual 
labor and took delight in mechanical contrivances. 
He was skilful in pasting paper on shoji (paper 
doors) and partitions. Services of this kind he 
performed, not only for his mother's family, but also 
sometimes for other relatives. As a cobbler, he made 
and repaired clogs and sandals for himself and for 
members of the immediate family. Occasionally he 
mended mats, stopped leaks in the house-roof, and 
even hooped pails. 

Yukichi's brother, Sannosuke, was educated in 
Chinese learning and became a thorough Confucian. 
Some years later he went to reside in Osaka as an 
accountant of the granary establishment. He once 
asked young Yukichi what he intended to be in 


the future. " Well," answered the latter, " I wish to 
become the richest man in Japan and to spend as 
much money as I please." Sannosuke made a wry 
face and scolded him. Then Yukichi asked his 
brother's aim in life. "A Confucian moralist to my 
death," was the reply. 

When Yukichi was twelve or thirteen years old, 
he one day passed where his brother was arranging 
some papers and accidentally trod on one of the 
sheets. The brother exclaimed, " Look out ! Can't 
you see ? Isn't here in this paper written the name 
of our lord Okudaira Daizen-no-Taifu ? " "Is there 
indeed?" said he, " I did not know that." "Why, 
have you no eyes ? Is it right for a retainer to tread 
on the name of his lord ? " The brother then 
proceeded with a severe scolding and a long discourse 
on the duties of a vassal to his lord, after which 
Yukichi was obliged to beg pardon. But the young 
boy doubted whether it was wrong to tread on a 
piece of paper, even though the name of his lord 
were inscribed thereon. He further meditated thus : 
" If it were wrong to do this, what would happen if 
I trod on the name of a god ?" After this reasoning, 
he secretly trod on a piece of paper which contained 
the name of a god. Since his act brought no 


dreadful consequence, he thought : " Well, there is 
no harm in this. Let me make another experiment." 
This time he subjected the paper to most debasing 
usage, a little fearful of the consequence ; but, to 
his great satisfaction, no evil followed. Thus 
he became convinced that there was no divine 
punishment as understood by the Japanese. As 
he grew older, he perceived the gross absurdity 
of all idolatry, augury, and 'enchantment. He had 
no shadow of superstition. One day he opened the 
door of an fnari* shrine and substituted a large stone 
for the image. A few days later, he was pleased to 
see some of his neighbors come and pray before the 
imageless shrine. 

During his childhood, Yukichi had no incli- 
nation to study, and his mother would not urge him 
to do* so. At the age of fourteen he had learned 
almost nothing. Then he began deeply to regret 
the years spent in neglect of his education. Accord- 
ingly he entered a private school in the country and 
henceforth studied with most exemplary diligence. 
Soon he was known as a bright student, and his 
natural talents enabled him rapidly to outstrip his 
fellow-students. Afterward we find him studying in 
* the Japanese goddess of rice. 


the school of a Chinese scholar of some repute by 
the name of Shiraishi. He attended this school 
about five years and during that time he made a 
systematic study of the Chinese classics and read 
most Chinese works then in vogue. Among these, 
the " Ch'un Ts'ew " or " Spring and Autumn Annals" 
by Confucius was his greatest favorite. This work, 
which consists of many volumes, he read a dozen 
times, and memorized the most interesting passages. 
Thus he became a good Chinese scholar. Hence 
the opposition which he in later years showed to 
Confucianism was not due to any want of acquaint- 
ance with the Chinese classics. 

There were in Shiraishi's school two poor 
students who supported themselves on what they 
earned as shampooers. It occurred to Vukichi that 
this art of shampooing might in a future emergency 
be made a means of self-support by him. He there- 
fore sought from his fellow-students instruction in it 
and actually became a fairly good shampooer. 

While he was a student, Vukichi contributed 
something to the family budget. His means were 
earned by the pursuit of some subordinate occupa- 
tions. At first, he made clogs for sale. Later, he 
lacquered and ornamented the sheath and hilt of 


swords an art which he had learned from a poor 
samurai and in which he acquired considerable pro- 



MILE Mr. Fukuzawa was studying at Shira- 
ishi's school, Japan was disturbed by an 
unexpected event. In June, 1853 (the sixth year of 
Kayei), Commodore Perry, American ambassador, 
visited Uraga with a fleet and sought to open com- 
merciaj relations with Japan. The Japanese who had 
lived in quiet seclusion from the outside world during 
the two centuries of the Tokugawa regime, were out of 
measure astonished at the sudden appearance of the 
American men-of-war. " Black ships !" was echoed 
and re-echoed throughout the length and breadth of 
the Empire. Every possible preparation against 
foreign aggressions was undertaken : armies were en- 
larged ; methods of military drill were improved ; 
gunnery was strenuously studied ; bells of temples 
were cast into cannon ; and forts were constructed 
at several places. 

These circumstances incited our young scholar 
to the determination to study Dutch in order to 


find access to Western learning and to gain infor- 
mation about affairs in foreign countries. The reader 
must bear in mind that since the beginning of the 
seventeenth century the Dutch and the Chinese were 
the only foreigners who had been permitted to trade 
in Japan and the Dutch language was the only me- 
dium for acquiring Western learning. For the pur- 
suit of his studies, Mr. Fukuzawa, in February, 185^ 
(the first year of Ansei), when he was in his twenty- 
first year, proceeded to Nagasaki, where the only 
Dutch settlement in Japan existed and where in con- 
sequence were found many facilities for the study of 
Dutch. Since Mr. Fukuzawa had no means to sup- 
port himself, he was made a skokkakn* to Sojuro 
Yamamoto, a teacher of gunnery. This position was 
secured for him through the kindness of Iki 
Okudaira, the son of the chief official of his 
clan, who was then studying gunnery under this 
teacher. Mr. Fukuzawa served his master in many 
widely different capacities : as secretary, accountant, 
tutor for the son, and sometimes even servant. He 
performed all his duties so faithfully that the master 
placed great confidence in him and even offered to 

* A student who depends on another person for support and who 
generally renders some services in return. 


adopt him as a son. During his spare hours, he 
eagerly took lessons in Dutch under several scholars, 
a certain Narabayashi, an interpreter in Dutch, and 
Osho Ishikawa, a physician of the Dutch school, 
being the best among them. But each of these men 
\vas too busy with his own profession to give him 
regular lessons ; consequently no small amount of 
Inconvenience was experienced in his study. Dutch 
was found so difficult that, with even his bright 
talents and untiring perseverance, he required three 
days to master the alphabet. Nevertheless his sub- 
sequent study resulted in rapid progress. 

The rapid progress which Mr. Fukuzawa made 
in learning Dutch excited the jealousy of his friend 
Okudaira, who was narrow-minded, and who at length 
managed to oblige him to leave Nagasaki. Then 
Mr. Fuku/.awa decided to go up to Yedo (the present 
Tokyo). Me raised a small sum by disposing of a 
Dutch-Japanese dictionary, and under the pretence 
of returning to Nakatsu, left Nagasaki for Yedo in 
March, 1855. On his way to Yedo, he stopped at 
Osaka and called on his brother, who was then living 
in the granary establishment, with the object of 
obtaining pecuniary help. The brothers were, after 
a whole year of separation, much delighted to see 


each other. The younger Fukuzawa had many un- 
expected visitors. The woman who had nursed him 
in his infancy ; the woman who had acted the part 
of a midwife at his birth ; the honest servant and 
many old friends of his dead father all these kindly 
came to see him. Mis heart was filled with joyous 
emotions and he felt as if he had returned to his 


AS Sannosuke would not permit him to proceed to 
Ycdo, Mr. Fukuzawa was obliged to reside for 
a time with his brother. Soon we find him attending 
the Dutch school of Koan Ogata and pursuing his 
studies with diligence, lie quickly won a position 
among the brightest students, and Ogata treated 
him with special favor. Unfortunately, in January 
of the following year, his brother became afflicted 
with rheumatism and gradually grew worse. " Mis- 
fortunes never come singly." In February of the 
same year, Mr. Fukuzawa undertook to nurse an in- 
timate friend and class-mate through an attack of 
typhoid fever, and he himself became inoculated with 
the germs. Mis recovery was slow, and for some 


time the state of his health was such that he could 
not resume his studies. Meanwhile the brother's 
affliction became serious, and moreover his term of 
office expired. Hence the two brothers sought 
benefit from a change of air, and together they 
returned to their home in After three 
months' stay there, Mr. Fukuzawa's health wa.*- 
completely restored. As his brother appeared to be 
on a fair way to recovery, he proceeded again in 
August to Osaka. Scarcely had he resumed his 
studies at Ogata's school, when he received from 
home a letter which brought the news of his broth- 
er's death and an urgent demand for his quick 
return. He hastened to his home. The mother, 
the sisters, and the relatives were stricken with 
sorrow. Yet Mr. Fukuzawa was the one most deeply 
affected by this bereavement. For, in addition to 
his great personal grief, he succeeded* his brother as 
the responsible head of the family. Furthermore 
the general opinion of the clan was extremely un- 
favorable to Western learning ; and all Mr. Fuku- 
/.awa's friends, relatives, and neighbors were strongly 

* According to Japanese custom, the eldest living son succeeds to 
the family estate and takes the place of his father as responsible head of 
the family. 


opposed to his going to Osaka again. He could 
find nobody to consult about his plans, except his 
mother. Eagerly he asked her permission to go to 
Ogata's school. The daughter of his dead brother, 
an orphan only three years old, was in her care ; and 
his sisters were already married. Thus she would 
feel very lonesome without her son. But she was a 
strong-willed woman ; and, since she wished her son 
to make the most of his abilities, she willingly con- 
sented to his request. But how raise travelling ex- 
penses ? Owing to the expenses connected with the 
brother's illness, the family had already incurred 
some debt. At length, it was decided to sell over 
1500 volumes, which constituted a valued library of 
his house, several valuable curios and pieces of fur- 
niture. The sum thus realized was sufficient to pay 
off the debt, and for the expenses of a journey to 
Osaka. As the further pursuit of his plans was thus 
made practicable, Mr. Fukuzawa at once set out for 

The pluck, persistence, industry, and resource- 
fulness of Mr. Fukuzawa are strikingly illustrated by 
an incident which occurred at this time. One day 
during his stay at Nakatsu, he called on Iki Okudaira 
who was then in the town. The latter showed him 


a new Dutch book which he had recently bought for 
twenty-three dollars at Nagasaki. It was a work on 
fortification by Pell (?) which was the first book of 
the kind ever seen by our young Dutch scholar. He 
wished to get a copy of this book, but twenty-three 
dollars was far beyond his means. Okudaira would 
not lend him the book long enough for him to read 
it. He gazed at the book for a time and silently re- 
gretted his poverty. At this moment, a cunning idea 
occurred to him. " This is, indeed, a good book," 
said he to Okudaira, " It is, of course, impossible to 
read it through in a hurry ; I wish only to look at 
the table of contents and the illustrations. Will 
you please lend it to me for a few days ?" Okudaira 
consented to his request. Mr. Fukuzawa left with 
the book and ran to his house in triumph. Imme- 
diately lie began to copy it on Japanese paper with 
a quill and Japanese ink. By hard work all day and 
late into the night, he succeeded hi copying the 
whole volume of some two hundred pages in about 
three weeks. In order to prevent either waste of his 
time or a report of his proceeding to the jealous 
owner of the book, Mr. Fukuzawa refused, during the 
entire time, to receive any visitor. As soon as the 
work was finished, he returned the book to Okudaira 


who had not the slightest suspicion of the use that 
had been made of it. 

Mr. Fukuzawa arrived in Osaka in November. 
Immediately he called on Ogata who, being informed 
of his circumstances, kindly offered to support him 
during his study. Mr. Fukuzawa at once took up 
residence in the boarding-house of the school. He 
studied so diligently that he never spread* a bed . for 
sleep. When his brain refused to comprehend, he 
would lean upon his desk and take a nap. When 
he awoke, regardless of the hour, he resumed his 
reading. His only weakness was drinking sakt\ He 
had a strong fondness for drink. Even when he was 
a small child, his mother found that the only plan to 
keep him quiet when his head was being shaved was 
to promise him some sakt. At Ogata's school, he 
indulged this propensity whenever the opportunity 
was presented. In all other respects, his conduct was 
exemplary. He never quarrelled with anyone. He 
never contracted debt nor showed any laxity of 
morals. Before he had been long at Ogata's school, 
considerable progress was recognized in his studies 

* The Japanese bed consists of futons spread on the soft mats of 
the floor. When not in use, the futons are folded and put away, and 
the apartment has no appearance of a bed-room 


and he was made liead-student.* As it was a rule 
for newcomers to present a certain sum to the head- 
.student, Mr. Fukuzawa always had some pocket- 
money with which to satisfy his craving for drink. 

Koan Ogata, who was by profession a physician, 
was a well-known Dutch scholar. His school had an 
average attendance of one hundred students, most of 
whom were sons of physicians. The boarding 
students numbered about sixty. Their conduct 
outside the school was so disreputable that the 
women and children in the neighborhood spoke 
of them with disgust. In summer they were lit- 
erally naked. Except in class and at meals, they 
wore no garments. In their habits, they were 
irregular and absolutely neglectful of hygienic con- 
siderations. Between regular meals, they cooked food 
with their own pans and konro.\ These utensils 
usually lay about their desks. Desks and wash-basins 
were often used as kitchen utensils. Disorderly as 

* It was formerly a custom in Japan for the master of a school 
to select the student who was best in character and acquirements as his 
assistant. This assistant or head-student occupied an authoritative 
position towards the other students of the school. 

+ Portable earthen-ware furnaces. 


they were in their habits and manners, they were 
nevertheless, as a rule, hard workers. The beginners 
were taught the first rudiments of the Dutch gram- 
mar by means of two books reprinted in Yedo. Ten 
books on natural philosophy and medicine constituted 
the school library. As soon as the grammar was 
mastered, the students set about making copies of 
these books for their own use. Among so many 
candidates for the privilege of copying these few 
books, it was necessary for them to decide their 
turns by lot. As there was no foreign paper for sale, 
they wrote on glazed Japanese paper with Japanese 
ink and quills of their own make. At intervals of 
four or five days, there were class readings of these 
copied books. The readings were presided over by 
either the head-student or by the best student of the 
highest class ; and Ogata now and then gave lessons 
only to the highest class. These were the only times 
when instruction was given. In their study hours it 
was a point of honor with the students not to give or 
receive help of any kind. They had to hammer out 
the meaning of their text-books by themselves as 
best they could. They had no other help than 
Zoof's(?) Dutch- Japanese Dictionary and Wei- 
land's (?) Dutch Dictionary. The latter being all 


written in Dutch, it was quite beyond the under- 
standing of beginners. The former was written both 
in Japanese and in Dutch, so that most of the 
students consulted this dictionary. On the night 
previous to the day for reading, even the laziest 
student sat up all night with his book ; and a number 
of students were always found in the "Zoof's Room," 
as it was called, referring to this dictionary in pro- 
found silence. 

Chemistry had a great attraction for the students. 
They were always making experiments with the most 
primitive and inadequate means. They succeeded in 
plating iron with zinc. An attempt to make iodine 
was a failure. They distilled ammonia out of bones 
and horse's hoofs ; but the stench was so-horrible 
that the experiment had to be removed from the 
school to the courtyard and from the courtyard to a 
boat on the river. They eagerly dissected dogs, cats, 
and the corpses of criminals, whenever the oppor- 
tunity offered. 

The Lord of Chikuzen once called at Osaka on 
his way to Yedo and stayed three days. Ogata 
waited upon him and borrowed a book from him 
with the promise to return it before his departure. 
Ogata brought it to his house and showed it to Mr. 


Fukuzawa. The book was a Dutch translation of a 
new work by Faraday, the famous English scien- 
tist. One section of the work was a treatise on 
electricity. This subject was treated with minuteness 
of detail. Many new theories were also presented in 
the work. The text-books in the school treated 
only the elements of physics, and the students had 
little knowledge of electricity. Consequently this 
work excited the interest of Mr. Fuku/.awa, who was 
very anxious to devour the contents. But it had to 
be returned to the owner within three days and it 
was a large volume of about one thousand pages 
He took the book to his fellow-students and con- 
sulted them about what should be done with it. 
They decided to make a copy of the section on 
electricity which appeared to be the most interesting. 
Thus all the students, each in his turn, set about 
copying it. The part which they desired to copy 
contained about one hundred and sixty pages. In 
three days of constant hard work the task was 
accomplished. On the night when the Lord of 
Chikuxen was about to depart, they took leave of the 
book as if they were separating from a dear friend. 
From that time, electricitv was studied much more 


successfully than before ; and the students had no 
equals in Japan in knowledge of electricity. 

There were then one or two Dutch schools in 
Yedo, but Ogata's students might rightly claim the 
distinction of being the best Dutch scholars in the 


IN 1858 (the fifth year of Ansei), Mr. Fukuzawa re- 
ceived a summons from the authorities of his clan 
to go up to Yedo in order to open a Dutch school 
there. In October he left Ogata's school and 
proceeded to Yedo. There he took up his residence 
in the mansion of his clan at Teppozu (the present 
Tsukiji). Soon after, he opened at his home a school 
in which he taught a few young sons of his clansmen 
and a few students from other clans. As compensa- 
tion, he received a moderate salary from his clan. 

While he was studying at the Ogata School, 
Mr. Fukuzawa used to look down with scorn on the 
Dutch scholars in Yedo; but now that he had 
become a teacher of Dutch, his vanity failed him 
and he could not rest contented until he sounded 
their actual scholarship. From this motive, he often 


asked them the explanation of difficult passages in 
his Dutch books. These passages he himself under- 
stood quite well but he frequently found that they 
could not explain them. One day he called on 
Teiho Shimamura, a Dutch scholar of some celebrity. 
Shimamura showed Mr. Fukuzawa a Dutch work on 
physiology which he was then in the course of 
translating and said that a passage in it was quite 
beyond his comprehension, adding that it had 
stumbled several of his friends. " Well," said Mr. 
Fuku/.awa, " I will try to make out the meaning." 
At first sight the passage seemed quite beyond his 
understanding, but after much intense thought, he 
succeeded, to the satisfaction of his own vanity, in 
deciphering its meaning. This little incident freed 
him from further apprehension that the Yedo scholars 
might be his superiors in Dutch. 

In July, 1859 (the sixth year of Ansei), in 
pursuance of treaties of amity and commerce con- 
cluded the previous year with the United States, 
England, the Netherlands, France, and Russia, 
Yokohama was opened to foreign trade. In order to 
test the practical value of his knowledge of Dutch, 
Mr. Fukuzawa sought an early opportunity to visit 
the foreign settlement at Yokohama. In the space 

26 / /.///: ( >/' Mr. \ 'I Vv'A 7// // 7v7 V.. ilf.i CHAP. 

of twenty-four hours he walked there and back forty 
miles in all returning weary and footsore. That, 
however, was nothing when compared with his 
depression at finding that the Dutch, which he had 
so laboriously acquired, was of no practical use to 
him. At Yokohama he saw many stores kept by 
foreigners. He called at some of the stores and 
addressed the shopkeepers in Dutch. But they did 
not understand him nor could he understand what 
they said. He could not even read the sign-boards 
over the stores or the labels on the bottles inside. 
On inquiring he found that the language spoken there 
was English a language so extensively spoken in 
the world that it might almost be called international. 
On his return to Yedo, he was much discouraged to 
think that, if he desired to maintain his standing as 
a scholar who was familiar with Western learning, it 
would be necessary for him to devote to learning 
English as much time and energy as he had already 
expended on Dutch. But his was not a nature that 
yields to discouragement. On that very day he 
determined to learn English. But how accomplish 
this purpose? There \vas in Yedo no scholar who 
taught English. For some time, he was at a loss 
what to do. At last he was delighted to learn that 


a certain Moriyama from Nagasaki, an interpreter in 
English, was then engaged in the service of the 
Bakufu* to assist in making treaties with foreign 
nations. Mr. Fukuzawa called on him to beg his 
instruction in English. The interpreter assented, but 
he was so busy with his public duties that he could 
find only a little time early in the morning and late 


in the evening, before and after his hours in the 
Foreign Department. At the specified times Mr. 
Fukuzawa walked from Teppozu to Moriyama's 
residence in Koishikawa a distance of about five 
miles each way during two or three months ; but 
almost every time he called some unexpected event 
prevented Moriyama from teaching him. 

Thus disappointed in his effort to learn from a 
teacher of English, Mr. Fukuzawa decided to proceed 
without the aid of a teacher. For this purpose he 
proposed to use two small books partly in Dutch, 
partly in English which he had purchased at 
Yokohama. In addition, he had need of an English- 
Dutch dictionary. But neither in Yedo nor in 
Yokohama could such a dictionary be purchased. 

* The government of the shogun ; 'curtain government' : so 
called decause the shogun's quarters in camp were screened off by a 


He heard that students of the Jians/w Sliirabcsho, 
a government school where Western sciences were 
taught, enjoyed the privilege of using many kinds 
of foreign dictionaries contained in the library of 
the school. With the hope of borrowing there an 
English-Dutch dictionary, he immediately secured 
admittance to the school. To his great disappoint- 
ment, he was refused permission to take the 
dictionary home. Deeming it unprofitable to walk 
daily from Teppozu to Kudan where the Banslio 
WiirabesJio was located merely to consult the dic- 
tionary, he on the very first day abandoned the idea 
of attending the school. 

After the failure of these plans, he asked the 
clan authorities to buy him a pronouncing English- 
Dutch dictionary in two volumes at the cost of five 
dollars; and having secured the dictionary, he began, 
\vithout the aid of a personal teacher, 'most assiduous- 
ly to study English. As he thought that it might 
encourage him to have one or two fellow-students, he 
tried to persuade his friends Kohei Kanda and 
Masujiro Omura to join him in his study of English, 
but in vain. Nevertheless he found an earnest fellow- 
student in Keisuke Harada who had also perceived 
the necessity of learning English. With the help of 


the English-Dutch dictionary mentioned above, they 
could with relative ease translate the sense ; but the 
pronunciation was, as we may well imagine, ex- 
tremely difficult. Various expedients were adopted, 
in order to obtain instruction in pronunciation. 
Once they had for instructor in pronunciation a 
young boy from Nagasaki who had some knowledge 
of English. Occasionally men who had by shipwreck 
been obliged to spend many years in foreign 
countries would come home to Japan. The zealous 
scholars were sure to call on them in order to get 
hints on English pronunciation. Thus Mr. Fuku- 
x.awa gradually improved his English pronunciation. 
Throughout his study of English, he found that his 
Dutch acquirements were of far greater use to him 
than he had expected. 


A golden opportunity for improving his English 
was finally presented to our zealous scholar. In 
December, 1859 ( tne sixth y ear f Ansei), the 
Tokugawa Government decided to send envoys to 
the United States for the twofold purpose of ratify- 
ing the previously arranged treaties and observing 

30 .//,///: 01- Mr. )TA7CV// /-TA7 //.///'./. CHAP. 

economic, political and social conditions in America. 
\iimi Scttsu-no-Kami, tiugyo* of Foreign Affairs, 
and two other high officials were appointed for the 
mission. The envoys and their suite were to go in 
the Poivliattan, a warship sent by the United States 
Government for their transportation. The Kanrin 
Marn, a man-of-war of the Bakufu, was to make her 
trial trip as an escort of the Poivhattan. The 
Kanrin Marn was a small ship of 100 horse-power 
which, two or three years before, had been bought 
for $ 25,000 from the Netherlands. She could 
utilize steam power only when entering or leaving 
port and used sails during voyage. Kimura Settsu- 
no-Kami, Hugyo of Warships, was appointed her 
captain. The crew numbered ninety-five, among 
whom were found Rintaro Katsu (the late Count 
Katsu) as commander and Manjiro Nakahama as 
interpreter. This voyage of the Kanrin MariL was a 
very bold undertaking, considering the fact that the 
Japanese had seen steamers for the first time in 1853 
and that not until two years later had officers of the 
Tokugawa Government begun to learn the art of 

* Bujyo were officials of various grades and duties under the 
feudal government. There were three or four bu^\d in the Foreign 


navigation. Tlie report of this undertaking speedily 
spread about the whole city of Yedo. Mr. Fuku- 
zawa could no longer stay quietly in his study. 
Having got a letter of introduction to Capt. Kimura, 
he watted upon him and offered his services as an 
attendant. Somewhat to Mr. Fukuzawa's surprise, 
his offer was immediately accepted. The voyage to 
foreign lands, it is evident, was then generally 
regarded with so much aversion that few persons 
would volunteer for such services. 

The Kanrin Maru weighed anchor in January, 
1 860 (the first year of Banyen) ; and after a voyage 
of thirty-seven days, safely reached her destination. 
During the voyage, she experienced very stormy 
weather, lost two boats, and ran short of water. 
Many of the crew were seasick. Commander Katsu 
was one of the sufferers and was confined to his 
cabin during the entire voyage. Most of the 
captain's attendants were also ill. But Mr. Fukuzawa 
remained quite well and gave active help to his 
master. As soon as the Kanrin Maru reached San 
Francisco, distinguished men of the city came to the 
ship to congratulate the Japanese on their successful 
voyage. Presently a salute was fired on shore. 
The Japanese officers proposed to fire in return. 

32 ./ UI-'E Ol< Mr. YUKKttr FUKUZAWA. CHAP. 

Commander Katsu said, "Ten to one, \ve shall fail 
to fire. Let us give up the idea." " Oh, no ! ," 
said Sasakura, chief engineer, " It is not difficult to 
fire. Let me try." " Nonsense ! 1 will bet my life 
on your failure," said Katsu. The engineer became 
excited and persisted in carrying out his idea. Im- 
mediately a cannon was cleaned and loaded. To his 
triumph and to the mortification of Katsu, he 
succeeded in firing a return salute. 

The Americans showed the Japanese the utmost 
hospitality. The Americans provided free quatiers 
for them on shore and docked and repaired their 
ship free of charge. Every thing of interest that San 
Francisco afforded was freely shown them. They 
were taken to manufactories at different places and 
were struck with wonder and admiration at the in- 
genuity of the machinery. Every thing they saw was 
quite novel and wonderful to them. They were 
amazed to see vehicles drawn by horses ; and it was 
only after several minutes of study that they were 
able to understand the use of the carriages. They 
were often invited to dinner at large hotels. When 
they arrived for the first time at a hotel, they were 
surprised to find that the floor of the room was 
covered with beautiful carpet. Such carpet only 


Japanese of luxurious life could afford, and even 
then merely in the form of small pieces made into 
tobacco pouches or purses. They were still more 
surprised to see the Americans walk on the carpet 
with dirty shoes ; and it was with some hesitation 
that they dared walk on it with sandals. To the 
Americans also, the Japanese, wearing haori* and 
hakama f, two swords and sandals, and with their 
hair tied up in top-knots, presented a very strange 
and picturesque appearance. Presently many bottles 
were brought in and when they were uncorked a 
strange hissing sound was heard. To each of the 
guests a glass of Champagne was served. There was 
something transparent floating in the wine. It 
being a warm April day, the Japanese could not 
guess what it was. Some of them ventured to take 
the floating substance into their mouths, and, finding 
it to be too cold, at once spit it out. Others gnawed 
it awkwardly. Strange as it seemed to them, it was 
only ice. They started with terror at sight of a 
turkey and a pig cooked whole. Mr. Fukuzawa, as 
well as the rest, made some blunders. Once, after 
lighting his pipe from a stove, he wrapped the ashes 

* A kind of coat. 

t Loose trowsers with many foldi in the front. 


in a piece of paper and put the paper into his pocket. 
He was about to smoke another pipe, when, to his 
great surprise, smoke issued from the pocket. He 
then found that the paper had taken fire from sparks 
that had remained in the ashes. 

Mr. Fukuzawa seized every opportunity for im- 
proving his English. He and Nakahama the inter- 
preter each brought back to Japan a Webster's 
Dictionary, the first copies of that work ever im- 
ported. His knowledge of Western things was greatly 
extended ; but his observation was limited to the 
manners, customs, and material things, to the neglect 
of the political, social and economic conditions. 

Their mission finished, the Japanese left the 
land of wonders ; and, calling at Hawaii en route, 
they, in May of the same year, returned, after a 
peaceful voyage. 

During Mr. Fukuzawa's stay in America, some 
disagreeable rumors concerning him had arisen among 
the people of his native town Nakatsu. One of his 
relatives even said to his mother, " I am very sorry 
to hear of the unfortunate death of your son in 
America. They say his body is salted and brought 
back to Yedo." Naturally such rumors caused great 
anxiety to his lonely mother. 


On his return to Japan, Mr. Fukuzawa resumed 
his teaching. Now, however, he taught English in- 
stead of Dutch. Still he could not yet readily under- 
stand English books. Consequently, in addition to 
teaching his students, he, with the aid of his English- 
Dutch dictionary, set himself assiduously to study 
English. The number of his pupils rapidly increased. 
In this year, he published his first work, " Vocabulary 
and Phrases in English, Chinese, and Japanese." Soon 
he was employed by the Foreign Office of the Bakufu 
to translate foreign dispatches. As there were very 
few Japanese who could read or write English or 
French, it was customary for ministers and consuls of 
foreign powers, in communicating with the Bakufu 
authorities, to add Dutch translations to their official 
dsipatches. It was chiefly for translating these Dutch 
translations, rather than the original language, that 
Mr. Fukuzawa was employed. His official duties afford- 
ed many facilities for improving his English. He 
tried to translate the foreign dispatches directly from 
the original English without looking at the Dutch, 
and only when he encountered very difficult passages 
would he consult the Dutch. This method contrib- 
uted much to his progress in English. There were 
In the Foreign Office many kinds of English books. 


These he very eagerly read. 

The marriage of Mr. Fukuzawa took place at 
this period. In 1861, when he was in his twenty- 
eighth year, he married a girl of seventeen years, Kin 
by name, the second daughter of Tarohachi Doki, a 
samurai of his clan. Three years later, their eldest 
son, Mr. Ichitaro, was born. 



AN exposition of the later career of Mr. Fukuzawa 
requires a preliminary review of the course of 
events connected with the foreign policy of the Toku- 
gawa Government. As already stated in the third 
chapter, in 1853, Commodore Perry, American ambas- 
sador, came with a fleet to Uraga, with the object of 
arranging a commercial treaty between Japan and 
the United States. For this purpose he bore a docu- 
ment addressed to the Shogun in which his govern- 
ment expressed its request. After a short stay, he 
left Japan promising to come in the following year for 
a reply. The government of the Shogun was in great 
perplexity about the problem thus created. Copies 
of the American letter were sent to all the daimyos * 
*A daimy6 was the feudal chief of a clan. 


to ask their opinions concerning the course to be 
pursued. They immediately sent in answers and 
almost unanimously declared against the opening of 
the country. The government hurried forward de- 
fensive preparations. The military men from various 
clans flocked to Yedo and Kyoto with the expecta 
tion that they would be called upon to defend their 
country against the impudent intrusion of foreigners. 

Shortly after the departure of the American 
squadron from Uraga, English, Dutch, and Russian 
vessels came to Japan on missions similar to that of 
the Americans. In February, 1854, Commodore 
Perry made his appearance a second time in Yedo 
Bay with a fleet of ten fully armed vessels, compris- 
ing such an array as had never before appeared in 
Japanese waters. After much deliberation and 
discussion, proposals and amendments, banquets and 
presents, a convention between Japan and the United 
States was agreed upon, providing for the relief of 
ships and sailors. During the two years following, 
similar conventions were concluded also with England, 
Russia, and the Netherlands. 

These dealings with foreign nations produced 
the most intense excitement throughout the Empire. 
The old sentiment of hostility to foreign intercourse 


showed itself in unmistakable intensity. The song 
of the " Black Ships " was heard everywhere. Two 
distinct parties came into existence, one of which 
wished to expel the " barbarians, " as the foreigners 
were called by them, and the other were in favor of 
opening the country. The members of the latter 
party were principally connected with the Shogun's 
government and had become impressed with the 
folly of trying to resist the pressure of the outside 
world. The exclusion party was made up of the 
conservative elements in the country, who clung to 
the old traditions of Japan that had matured during 
the two centuries of the Tokugawa rule. Besides 
these conservatives, there was also a party composed 
of men who nourished a traditional dislike for the 
Tokugawa family. These men were glad to see the 
Tokugawa family involved in difficulties which were 
sure to overthrow it. These were chiefly found 
among the southwestern daiinyos, such as Satsuma, 
Choshu, Hizen, and Tosa. The lord of Mito. 
although connected with the Shogun's family, was 
bitterly hostile to the policy of holding any friendly 
relations with foreigners. He was, therefore, regarded 
as the head of the exclusion party, and many of 


the disaffected samurai rallied about him as their 
champion and leader. 

In execution of one provision of the convention, 
the United States government, in 1856, sent Townsend 
Harris as consul-general to Japan. He was a man 
of great patience and tact, and gradually worked his 
way into the confidence of the Japanese govern- 
ment. He became the counsellor and educator 
of the officials in everything pertaining to foreign 
affairs. The principal effort of Harris was the 
negotiation of a commercial treaty which should 
make provision for the conduct of trade in specified 
ports of Japan. 

Baron Hotta, who was now at the head of the 
Shogun's cabinet, drafted a treaty of amity and com- 
merce ; and sent a representation to the Imperial 
court of Kyoto in December, 1857, stating the 
difficulty of exclusion and asking for the Emperor's 
sanction to the proposed treaty. But the Emperor 
Komei was a great hater of foreigners and much 
influenced by the exclusion party. Hence he 
strongly opposed the liberal policy of the Bakufu. 
No answer came even in January of the following 
year. Pressed on one side by Harris, and urged on 
the other side by his anxiety for his country, Baron 


Hotta now went in person to the Imperial court. 
There he did his best to explain the impossibility of 
adhering to the old tradition, but the influence of the 
opposing party could not be overcome by him. 

Thus the question of making the treaty had 
reached the climax of difficulty. None but a master- 
mind could solve this problem. Thereupon the 
Shogun appointed li Kamon-no-Kami, the lord of 
Hikone, to the responsible office of Tairo* He was 
a man of rare abilities and great resolution and was 
an earnest advocate of the pro-foreign policy. On 
his appointment as Tairo, he dispatched a special 
message to Kyoto for the Imperial sanction of the 
treaty. Just at this juncture, two American men- 
of-war came to Shimoda and one of them proceeded 
up the Bay of Yedo. This news was immediately 
followed by a message reporting an arrival of Russian 
warships and saying also that they were soon to be 
followed by English and French squadrons which 
had been victorious in their war with China. Town- 
send Harris pointed out .to the Bakufu the impossi- 
bility of exclusion, and the danger attending 

* Tiiird literally means Great Elder, and may be translated President- 
Senator- A Taird was to be appointed in times of great urgency only 
and his authority was dictatorial. 


adherence to the traditional policy. Thinking that 
waiting for the Imperial sanction might bring 
irreparable disasters upon Japan, li Kamon-no-Kami 
decided to assume the entire responsibility himself 
and at last signed the treaty in July, 1858. 
Similar treaties were concluded also with England, 
Russia, and the Netherlands in the following month 
and with France in October. These treaties provid- 
ed for immediately opening Hakodate, Yokohama, 
and Nagasaki, and fixed dates for the opening of 
Hyogo and Niigata. During the following ten 
years, similar treaties were concluded also with other 

The moment the conclusion of the treaties was 
made public, the anti-foreign party began to show 
an increased vehemence in their opposition. It was 
charged against the Shogun that in making the 
treaties without the Imperial sanction he had gone 
beyond his proper power. He was not the sovereign 
of Japan and never had been. He was only the 
chief executive under the Emperor. It was impossi- 
ble, therefore, that the treaties made by the Shogun 
and not ratified by his sovereign should be regarded 
by the Japanese as legitimate and binding. Then li 
Kamon-no-Kami sought to crush the opposition 


which assailed his policy. The lord of Mito who 
was the head of the anti-foreign party was compelled 
to resign and was condemned to confinement in his 
private provincial palace. Numerous other persons 
who had busied themselves interfering with his 
schemes and promoting opposition in Kyoto, li 
also imprisoned. 

In March, 1860, li was assassinated by eighteen 
ronins* of Mito who wished to avenge the imprison- 
ment of their prince. His death was an irreparable 
blow to the Tokugawa Government. There was no 
one who could successfully assume his role. 

The outrages which now succeeded each other 
with terrible frequency were not confined to the 
native members of the opposing parties. Foreigners, 
who were so essentially the cause of the political 
disturbances in Japan, were particularly exposed to 
attacks. In January, 1861, Heusken, the secretary and 
interpreter of the American legation, was attacked 
by armed assassins and mortally wounded. In the 
July following, the British legation was attacked 
by some ronins of Mito and Oliphant, the secretary 

*It was an old feudal custom that, whenever the retainers of a Jaimijo 
wished to avenge any act without committing their lord, they withdrew 
from his service and became ronins which means masterless men. 


of the legation, and Morrison, British consul at 
Nagasaki, were severely wounded. The foreign 
powers urged the Bakufu to take measures against 
such outrages, but it had almost no control over these 
lawless ronins. 


THE anti-foreign sentiment began to show itself 
in the assassination of foreigners. If, according 
to the terms of the treaties, the ports of Hyogo and 
Niigata had been opened at this time, the lives of 
foreigners would have been exposed to still greater 
danger. In view of these alarming difficulties, the 
Tokugawa Government decided to send envoys to 
Europe to ask for the postponement of the dates for 
opening these ports and for establishing certain con- 
cessions in Yedo and Osaka. Takenouchi and two 
other high officials of the Foreign Department were 
appointed for the mission. Their suite, about thirty- 
five in number, included three interpreters, three 
translators, and two physicians of the Chinese school. 
Genichiro Fukuchi, who is now a famous dramatist, 
was one of the interpreters. Mr. Fukuzawa was 


among the translators, the others being Munenori 
Terashima and Shuhyo Mitsukuri. 

Besides his travelling expenses, Mr. Fukuzawa 
received from the government four hundred dollars, 
the largest sum that had ever found its way into his 
purse. He sent one hundred dollars of this to his 
aged mother at Nakatsu, and spent the rest in 
London purchasing English books. 

In December, 1861 (the first year of Bunkyu), 
the envoys and suite left Japan in a British warship 
which had been sent to convey them to Flurope. 
Supposing that European food would hot suit their 
taste, they took with them hundreds of boxes of rice. 
For their accommodation at hotels, they also took 
dozens of large metal lanterns, various hand-lamps 
and candles. Dressed in haori and Jiakaina, they 
each carried two swords, while their hair was tied up 
in top-knots. How odd all this must have seemed 
to the citizens of London and Paris ! 

After calling at Hongkong and Singapore, the 
ship landed its passengers at Suez, whence they 
crossed to Cairo. With their hearts set upon the 
European capitals, they crossed the Mediterranean 
and landed at Marseilles. Hastening on to Paris, 

Mr. Fukuzawa in 1862. 
(From a photograph taken at the Hague,)- 


they stayed there twenty days. They then visited 
in turn London, the Hague, Berlin, St. Petersburg, 
and Lisbon. 

On the arrival of the party in Paris, some 
French officials came to meet them. After greet- 
ings were mutually exchanged, the envoys said to 
the officials, " We have a large party and a great 
deal of baggage. We hope that you will allow our 
attendants to lodge near us." The French officials 
promised to make such arrangements and inquired 
how many there were. When they heard the num- 
ber, they said, '* Very well, each of our large hotels 
can accommodate a dozen parties like yours." This 
sounded like exaggeration to the Japanese. When 
they went to their appointed hotel, they found that 
the statement was true. The hotel was a five-storied 
building with six hundred apartments. It could 
accommodate over a thousand guests. The servants 
numbered over five hundred. At first the Japanese 
were in constant danger of losing themselves in the 
hall-ways. Every room was warmed by steam in 
pipes and illuminated by brilliant gas-lights. In the 
dining-room every-thing was luxurious, and the 
Japanese brought the heartiest appetites to well 
appointed meals. Not even a great hater of foreign- 


ers could have withstood these dainty dishes. 
Thus sumptuously entertained, they laughed at their 
folly in having brought rice, lamps and candles. 
They had no need to light their own lamps or to 
boil their rice. They were puzzled to know what to 
do with these burdensome things. At last, they 
gladly disposed of them in the form of a present to 
one of the French officials. 

The European nations vied one with another in 
the cordiality of their reception of the Japanese. 
The Japanese were given every opportunity to in- 
spect the army and navy, the manufactories, banks, 
churches, schools, clubs, and hospitals. They were 
also invited to the balls and evening parties of the 
fashionable circles. But they received the most cor- 
dial and extensive hospitality from the Dutch, who 
had been in friendly relations with Japanese for over 
two centuries. Especially did Mr. Fukuzawa and 
the other translators and interpreters who had a 
knowledge of the Dutch language greatly enjoy their 
time in the Hague. 

The party made numerous blunders. On one 
occasion, some of them ordered the waiter to bring 
cigars. So bad was their pronunciation that the 
waiter returned with sugar. Their physicians bought 


what they thought to be ginseng and it turned" out 
to be powdered ginger. 

The envoys arranged with the treaty-powers 
that the opening of the ports of Hyogo and Niigata 
should be postponed for a period of five years from 
January, 1863. Having thus accomplished their 
mission, the party returned to Japan in December, 

This journey through the important countries in 
Europe proved of inestimable advantage to the 
Japanese in extending their knowledge. Especially 
with Mr. Fukuzawa, who was thirsting for knowl- 
edge of Western things, was this the case. When 
he had visited California, there was not yet a railway 
in that state. At Suez for the first time he saw a 
line of railway. Later he found that all the principal 
cities of Europe were connected by a system of rail- 
ways. He was greatly surprised at the speed of the 
trains. During his previous stay in America, he had 
carefully observed the manners and customs of 
Western people, so he now endeavored to gain infor- 
mation about political, social, and economic condi- 
tions. He sought to investigate those things which 
were too familiar to Europeans to need explanation but 
which were very difficult to study in Japan. What 


was a newspaper ? What was a bank and how was 
it organized ? What were postal regulations ? What 
was a conscription law, an election law, and a legisla- 
ture? Such were important subjects for him, and 
some of them were so complicated that it took him 
a week or so to come to a tolerable comprehension 
of the terms. Everything he learned he wrote 
down minutely in a note-book. On his return to 
Japan, he published these notes in a book called 
Sciyo Jijo or " Things Western," which was eagerly 
read throughout the length and breadth of his 
country. Indeed no book contributed so much to 
opening the eyes of his countrymen who had been 
until then in utter ignorance of European affairs. 

On his return to Japan, Mr. Fukuzawa continued 
in the service of the Foreign Office. In addition 
to performing his official duties, he continued indus- 
triously to write and to teach in his school. 


DURING Mr. Fukuzawa's tour in Europe, the 
anti-foreign sentiment had reached its height. 
Foreigners were said to have desecrated the Japanese 
religion by climbing the sacred mountain Fuji. 


Those Japanese who were in the service of foreigners 
were called " traitors." Native merchants who had 
engaged in foreign trade and dealers in foreign goods 
were obliged to close their stores. Numerous per- 
sons who had learned foreign languages were assassin- 

On the afternoon of September fourteenth, 1862, 
Saburo Shimazu, the uncle and guardian of the young 
prince of Satsuma, with his train and escort, was 
passing through Namamugi Village, near Kanagawa, 
in the province of Musashi, on his way home from 
Yedo. A riding party consisting of an English lady 
and three English gentlemen attempted to break- 
through the line of procession. This act, being quite 
contrary to feudal etiquette, offended the Satsuma 
men beyond measure. Suddenly a soldier from the 
centre of the procession rushed upon the foreigners 
with a sword and struck Richardson, one of them, a 
fatal blow. Both the other gentlemen were also 
wounded, but the lady escaped unhurt. After riding 
a few rods, Richardson fell from his horse and im- 
mediately died from the effect of his wound. 

The British government, which had hitherto 
shown good will towards Japan, was highly incensed. 
tn February of the following year, a British squadron 


of seven vessels, under the command of Admiral 
Kuper, appeared in Yedo Bay. The British charge 
d'affaires, Lieutenant-Colonel Neale, sent a lengthy 
dispatch to the Japanese government, demanding the 
capture and punishment of the murderer of Richard- 
son, and the payment of an indemnity of 100,000 
by the Shogun's government and of 25,000 by the 
Satsuma clan. A decisive answer must be given 
within twenty days. Mr. Fukuzawa and two other 
translators were called at night to the residence of 
Matsudaira Iwami-no-Kami, Bugyo of Foreign 
Affairs, to translate the dispatch. They were en- 
gaged all night at the task. How should the govern- 
ment answer ? The authorities as well as the people 
were filled with fear and anxiety about the conse- 
quences. Notwithstanding this grave difficulty, the 
Shogun left for Kyoto to pay homage to the Em- 
peror. Meanwhile twenty days elapsed. Then the 
government asked Colonel Neale to wait another 
twenty days. After much discussion the request was 
granted ; but the authorities could not come to any 
decision. During this time, the whole city of Yedo 
was in great excitement, and one rumour after an- 
other arose. It was actually reported that war would 
break out on a specified day. The time extension of 


twenty days was consumed in fruitless discussion and 
ten days more were granted. In this way the day 
for the answer was repeatedly postponed. To add 
to the trouble, the French minister intimated to the 
government that France was in sympathy with Great 
Britain in the affair in question and that, in the event 
of war, her warships would join the British warships 
in Shinagawa Bay. The authorities were alarmed by 
the threat, but yet could arrive at no conclusion^ 
While they were hesitating, the day appointed for 
the answer drew near. Finally there remained only 
two days before the answer had to be given. Then 
a proclamation was issued in the city of Yedo to the 
effect that in case war were declared the event should 
be signalized by the firing of rockets at the Hania 
Palace (the present Enrydkutan) and that at this 
signal the citizens should prepare for war. At the 
Egawa drill ground on the beach of Shinsenza, every 
cannon was put in position with its muzzle towards 
the bay, in order that it might be fired at a mo- 
ment's alarm. The citizens commenced preparations 
running hither and thither with their belongings. 
At this critical moment, Ogasavvara Iki-no-Kami, 
Councilor of the Shogun's cabinet, and Asano Bitchu- 
no-Kami, Governor of Yokohama, took the whole 


responsibility upon themselves and paid 100,000 to 
Colonel Neale. Thus the city of Yedo \vas saved 
from bombardment. 

The British squadron then went to Kagoshimato 
demand the payment of the additional indemnity and 
the execution of the murderer. Negotiations failed 
to effect a settlement and the naval force was called 
upon to play its part. Three new valuable steamers, 
which the lord of the clan had recently purchased, 
were captured and burned. The Satsuma men be- 
came indignant and bombardment ensued. The 
batteries which lined the shore were dismantled by 
the British guns ; and the city of Kagoshima was 
almost completely destroyed by fire. After this drastic 
lesson the money demanded was paid and this affair 
ended, although the murderer was not executed. 

Meanwhile patriots whose motto was to " revere 
the Emperor and expel the barbarians " had flocked 
in great numbers to the Imperial court at Kyoto. 
The Emperor at last granted Mori, the lord of 
Choshu, an edict which ordered the expulsion of 
foreigners. On the tenth of May, 1863, the Choshu 
men began to fine upon foreign vessels which at- 
tempted to pass the Straits of Shimonoseki. The 
Emperor then determined to raise a great army for 


the accomplishment of his purpose and to take the 
field in person. Conservative patriots and ignorant 
rdnins joined his flag, and almost the whole nation 
was seized with a fanatic enthusiasm. 

At this moment, the tables were unexpectedly 
turned. Through the joint influence of the Toku- 
gawa Government and the lord of Satsuma, the 
Emperor was compelled to suspend his operations 
and to drive out of the Imperial city the Choshu 
men who had persuaded him to undertake the war. 
The Bakufu then obtained the Imperial sanction to 
the commercial treaties which were several years 
before concluded with the foreign nations. The 
Bakufu also gained the Imperial permission to chas- 
tise the Choshu clan as " traitors," and for that pur- 
pose sent ;i large army to Choshu. Both sides 
fought with varying success, until the Shogun's death 
in camp put an end to the war. 

In December, 1866 (the second year of Keio), 
the Emperor Komei died and the present Emperor 
ascended the throne. 


MR. Fukuzawa made a second visit to the United 
States Several years previous to the time 


just mentioned, the Shogun's government had 
requested Robert H. Bryan, who was then American 
minister, to purchase two men-of-wai from his govern- 
ment on behalf of Japan. The sum of $ 800,000 
had been remitted to America through him. In 
1863 or 64, a warship named Fujiyama Kan cost- 
ing $ 400,000 was received. But what had become 
of the rest of the money ? No intelligence what- 
ever had come from the government at Washington. 
The Bakufu, therefore, decided to despatch some del- 
egates to America to negotiate about the matter. 
Tomogoro Ono, Auditor of Finance, Jutaro Matsu- 
moto, and some other officials were appointed for 
the mission. As Mr. Fukuzawa was very anxious to 
see America once more, he repeatedly called on Ono, 
president delegate, and offered his services. His 
offer was accepted. The delegates and their suite 
set out on their voyage in January, 1867 (the third 
year of Keio). In this year, mail-steamer service was 
opened between Japan and the United States and 
they were able to travel in the first mail-steamer 
that came to Japan, the " Colorado," a ship of 4,000 
tons After a quiet passage of twenty-two days, 
they reached San Francisco ; whence they proceeded 


to Washington by way of Panama and New York ; 
and negotiations were commenced with Bryan, 
the ex-minister to Japan. They agreed to receive an 
iron-clad called " Stonewall " and many thousands of 
rifles for the money. They returned to Japan in 

During this journey, Mr. Fukuzawa incurred the 
displeasure of his superiors. Though he was in the 
service of the Bakufu, he had no sympathy with it. 
On the contrary, he disliked it on account of its class 
system, its tyranny, and its conservatism. The dele- 
gates were also of conservative and tyrannical prin- 
ciples, and every step they took offended his pro- 
gressive ideas. Hence it was natural that he argued 
with them almost every day. With Shimpachi Seki, 
an interpreter, and others, he attacked the incapacity 
and ignorance of the Bakufu authorities, and tvent so 
far as to say, " Such conservative government must 
be overthrown sooner or later." He also said that 
the forts off Hyogo and in Shinagawa Bay represent- 
ed a foolish waste of money and laboi. 

On his return to Japan, he was ordered by the 
Rugyo of Foreign Affairs to be confined to his res- 
idence as a punishment for his disobedience. He, 
however, was not distressed but was rather gratified to 


find that the confinement afforded him leisure and 
tranquillity. He devoted all his time to teaching in 
his school and to writing and translation. He was 
soon after released and again resumed his official 
duties at the Foreign Office. But he was not at all 
satisfied with his position and resolved not to remain 
long in the service of the Bakufu. 


AT the time Mr. Fukuzawa returned from America, 
the Imperial court at Kyoto had steadily in- 
creased in power until the influence of the Yedo 
government was broken. The new Shogun Keiki, 
perceiving the anomaly of the duarchy and foreseeing 
that his government would not be able to govern 
Japan, Vequested the Emperor in October, 1867, to 
take back the supreme power to himself. This re- 
quest was immediately granted and the Shogun soon 
resigned. In December of the same year, Hyogo 
and Niigata were opened to foreign trade ; and 
foreign settlements were established in Yedo and 
Osaka. In the meantime, the Choshu clan had re- 
gained the favor of the Emperor. According to the 
advice of the chief men of the Choshu and Satsuma 


clans, a thorough revision of official organization was 
effected. Important positions in the new govern- 
ment were filled by these men ; and the Emperor 
being still a boy, the real supremacy seemed to be 
in their hands. Those clans which were hereditary 
vassals of Tokugawa regarded this state of things 
with much dissatisfaction and bitter jealousy. They 
persuaded the ex-Shogun Keiki to gather together an 
army to expel the Satsuma and Choshu men from 
the Imperial capital. On the pretence of paying 
homage to the Emperor, he started for Kyoto at the 
head of 30,000 men. When the Emperor heard this, 
he sent soldiers of Satsuma, Choshu, and Tosa, to 
meet the Bakufu army. After three days' hard 
fighting in the neighborhood of Kyoto, the Shogun 
was totally defeated and he returned to Yedo in a 
steam corvette. So bitterly did Keiki regret his 
undertaking that he was willing to go again to Kyoto 
to beg the Emperor's pardon. But his retainers 
would not permit him to do so. They decided upon 
an effort to restore the power of the Bakufu. Ac- 
cordingly they held a conference to consider means 
for the attainment of their object. The Bakufu still 
had a powerful army, plenty of provisions and arms, 
and a strong fleet of ships. It was extremely doubt- 


ful which side would eventually conquer the Bakufu 
forces or the Imperial army. Thus the Empire 
was thrown into a state of commotion. 

Mr. Fukuzawa did not show the least sympathy 
with either party. He had been promoted to the 
rank of an immediate vassal of the Bakufu and still 
retained his position of government translator. Yet 
he was not in sympathy with the Bakufu, as he was 
radically opposed to the absolutism and class system 
that characterized it. Nor did he care to support the 
Imperialists who were so blindly swept away by anti- 
foreign spirit. They were so ignorant of affairs in 
the outside world that they seemed to him incapable 
of ruling Japan. Furthermore, he hated from the 
bottom of his heart both formality and officialism, 
while he had no ambition to attain political honors. 
Owing to the existence of Civil War, all negotiations 
with foreign powers were then suspended. Mr. 
Fukuzawa therefore had no work to do at his office ; 
but he went almost every day to the Shogun's castle 
in order to hear the news. One day he saw Mr. 
Hiroyuki Kato (who was until recently president of 
the Higher Educational Council) at the office. The 
latter was in court dress. Mr. Fukuzawa hailed him 
saying, " Good morning, Mr. Kato. What ! you are in 


court dress ; what are you here for ?" " Well, I wish 
to get an audience with His Highness the Shogun 
who has just returned from Kyoto," was the reply. 
" Aha, I see ! By the way, what will be the out- 
come of the present affair ? I suppose you know 
well whether war will break out or not. Please tell 
me." " What will you do if I tell you ?" " What 
will I do? Why, if war is certain to break out, I 
must pack and leave town ; if not, I can stay here 
in peace. Whether or not war will occur concerns 
me very much ; pray let me know quickly.'* Kato 
said with a wry face, " Pshaw ! I have no time to 
talk such nonsense with you." " Nonsense ? I am 
in earnest. My life is at stake. You may fight or 
make peace as you choose. As for me, the moment 
war begins, I will run away from town." Kato here- 
upon grew angry and vouchsafed no further reply. 
This was how Mr. Fukuzawa felt on the subject at 
the time. When the Bakufu offered him a high 
appointment, he declined it on the pretence of ill- 
ness ; and at length resigned his post as translator. 
Furthermore, he abjured his rank of samurai and 
became a keimin or commoner. At the same time, 
he declined longer to receive his salary from his clan. 
The Imperial court mustered a large force from 


many clans for the subjugation of the Bakufu. In 
February, 1868 (the first year of Meiji), General Saigo 
at the head of the army left Kyoto for Yedo. The 
subject clansmen of the Bakufu were determined to 
fight to the last, and thus to repay the favors of the 
founder of the Tokugawa regime. If both armies 
had fought with their utmost energy and persistence 
the result of the contest would have been difficult to 
conjecture. But the ex-Shogun firmly held to his 
original attitude of respectful submission to the Em- 
peror, nor would he swerve a hair's breadth from it. 
In obedience to the counsel of Avva Katsu and Ichio 
Okubo, his two highest officials, he declared that he 
would never take up arms against the Emperor, and 
so he retired to private life. The Imperial army, al- 
ready in the southern suburb of the city, was waiting 
to begin the attack. Katsu met Saigo, assured him 
of the submissive temper of the ex-Shogun, and 
begged him to spare the city. It was done. But 
the fanatical retainers of Keiki, unwilling to yield, 
made the temple grounds of Uyeno their stronghold. 
On the fifteenth of May, they were attacked and 
routed, and the magnificient temple, the pride of the 
city, was laid in ashes. The seat of war was then 
transferred to the highlands of Aidzu, and thence to 


Matsurnaye and Hakodate in Yezo (the present 
Hokkaido). Victory everywhere followed the Mika- 
do's brocade banner. By July, 1869 (the second 
year of Meiji). all traces of the rebellion had dis- 
appeared ; and the so-called "Meiji Restoration" had 
been fully realized. In October, 1870 (the third 
year of Meiji), the name of Yedo was changed to 
Tokyo, which literally means the " Eastern Capital"; 
and the Emperor removed to the castle in the new 

Soon after the downfall of the Bakufu, Mr. 
Fukuzawa was offered an appointment by the new 
government. But he declined the offer. The govern- 
ment renewed its invitation, offering him this time 
the post of superintendent of government schools ; 
but he again declined. He did so, because his prin- 
ciples were in direct opposition to those of the new 
government, which was, in his estimation, quite con- 
servative and ignorant of the current events of the 
world. The authorities had, indeed, opened the 
promised ports to foreign trade, but they had done 
so under the pressure of foreign powers and against 
their will. They merely awaited a favorable oppor- 
tunity to expel foreigners and to close the country. 
Mr. Fukuzawa could not recognize any benefit in the 


change of the government. Naturally he had no 
inclination to enter into the service of such a govern- 
ment. He had good grounds for his opinion of the 
new government. In July, 1869, the Duke of Edin- 
borough, a British Imperial prince, came over to 
Japan. Etiquette required that he be granted an 
audience by Their Majesties the Emperor and 
Empress at the palace. Foreigners were then 
considered unclean barbarians and the authorities 
were unwilling to admit one of them to the 
palace. So, before the prince entered the palace 
gate, they caused a religious ceremony of purification 
to be performed on his person, in order, as they sup- 
posed, to cleanse him of all uncleanness. This cere- 
mony naturally elicited from foreign residents in the 
country both indignation and ridicule. Portman, then 
acting American minister, reported it to the Washing- 
ton government under the heading of "A Purification 
of the Duke of Edinborough." The report was in 
substance as follows : " The Japanese are very self- 
conceited recluses who usually treat foreigners like 
beasts. Here is an instance. The other day when 
the British Imperial prince 'was granted an audience 
by the Emperor, a Shinto rite of purification was 
performed on his body. In ancient times, water was 


sprinkled over anything considered unclean in order 
to purify it. Since the invention of the art of mak- 
ing paper, paper has been substituted for water. 
Some pieces of paper called gohfi are waved over 
unclean things for the same purpose. A gohei 
was used in the case of the British prince who is, to 
the Japanese, no other than an unclean creature," 
&c. &c. When told of this report by Shimpachi 
Seki, an interpreter in the American legation, Mr. 
Fukuzawa felt like crying for regret and mortification. 
At about this time, Seward, formerly secretary of 
state of the United States, visited Japan with his 
daughter. He was a celebrated statesman who 
exerted himself much for the emancipation of the 
American slaves. He had warm sympathy towards 
Japan before he visited the country ; but now that 
he witnessed the actual state of things in Japan, all 
his sympathy chilled and vanished. He even said, 
" I am sorry to say that a nation with such prej- 
udices and dispositions will not be able to preserve 
its independence." 

Under the circumstances, Mr. Fukuzawa saw 
with keen insight that .it was of vital necessity to 
open the eyes of the great mass of the people who 
had no knowledge about the outside world. This 


seemed to him much more important than any polit- 
ical improvement. It was the root of every possi- 
bility, either of good or of evil. He determined to 
devote all his energies to this fundamental popular 
education. With this object in view, he extended 
his school and at the same time devoted all his spare 
time and energy to the work of translation and writ- 
ing. His school has since developed into the present 
Keio Gijuku, one of the largest, most progressive and 
best known educational institutions of modern Japan. 
The services rendered by his school and by his books 
to the formation of the New Japan will be described 
in the following two chapters. In those days, every 
ambitious man was eager to get an official appoint- 
ment ; but Mr. Fukuzawa was never affected with 
the mania. He preferred quietly to continue his 
work as educator and as author, vocations which were 
then among the most unattractive. This shows 
clearly how far-sighted and how great he was. 

Afterwards the government became impressed 
with the folly of trying to return to the ancient policy 
of seclusion, and finally adopted progressive principles. 
Even then Mr. Fukuzawa had no inclination to enter 
into government service. In his Autobiography the 
following reasons are given for his persistent refusal 


to meddle with politics : although a progressive 
policy was adopted, yet the class system was in exist- 
ence as before ; and government officials acted with 
arrogance. They were generally low in character ; 
they lacked private virtues and behaved with licen- 
tiousness. His nature did not permit him to act in 
cooperation with them. In the conflict between the 
Imperialists and the Bakufu, most Bakufu vassals had 
made great show of loyalty to the Tokugawa family; 
but when the Bakufu fell, they at once went over to 
the new government and hunted for places. This 
fact dulled what political ambition he had. Lastly, 
when the new government was placed on a firm basis, 
every man, whether scholar or soldier, peasant or 
merchant, was anxious to get a position in it. 
Government service became the centre of ambition, 
and very few persons had the slightest idea of in- 
dependence and individuality. This was an unavoid- 
able result of the Confucian system of education. Mr. 
Fukuzawa perceived the vital necessity of inculcating 
in the masses of the people the essential principle 
that the independence of a nation consists in the in- 
dependent spirit of the individuals composing it. He 
himself became an illustrious example of independ- 
ence and individuality, and he adhered to thi* 


independent and democratic principle throughout life. 
This is what so remarkably distinguished him from 
his contemporaries. 

it is appropriate to refer to the great personal danger 
to which Mr. Fukuzawa was long and constantly 
exposed. It has already been stated that ignorant 
and conservative people wanted to close Japan against 
foreigners who were regarded as unclean barbarians. 
They not only hated foreigners, but they also extreme- 
ly hated scholars of progressive ideas, especially 
persons versed in Western learning, whom they called 
" traitors." After the assassination of li Kamon-no- 
Kami, assassinations had become rather frequent. 
Among those persons who had acquired a knowledge 
of Western conditions and customs, the victims of 
assassination were specially numerous. During the 
years 1862 74, such persons were at the constant 
risk of assassination. Some intimate friends of Mr. 
Fukuzawa had been attacked by ignorant ronins, and 
he himself who was also regarded as a traitor was 
always in the dread of assassination. So during these 
years, he managed to avoid going out at night ; and 
whenever he was obliged to travel, he assumed a false 
name in order to conceal his identity. In 1864 


(the first year of Gwanji), he went to his town Nakatsu 
with a view to persuade some young men of his clan 
to study the arts and sciences of the West. On his 
return voyage, a storm arose and the ship in which 
he sailed was obliged to stop at a harbor. Imagine 
his surprise to find that the harbor was Murotsu in 
Choshu, which was so notorious for its anti-foreign 
sentiment ! The ship stayed there a few days. One 
day he went ashore and visited a barber's shop. 
The barber spoke zealously about the necessity of 
overthrowing the Bakufu and expelling foreigners 
from the country. Children playing thereabout were 
loudly singing a song in which similar sentiments 
were expressed. Soldiers, variously clad and with 
guns on their shoulders, deported themselves very 
haughtily in the streets. If his identity had been 
betrayed, he might have been killed by them on the 
spot. But his assumption of a false name saved him 
from such an unhappy fate. 

In 1870 (the third year of Meiji), Mr. Fukuzawa 
again visited Nakatsu for the purpose of bringing to 
Tokyo his aged mother and his young niece. The 
residents of Nakatsu, who were of anti-foreign 
prejudices, entertained extreme hatred towards him, 
and some of them even awaited a convenient oppor- 


tunity to assassinate him. But he had at the time 
no knowledge of their intention ; so he stayed there 
for some time. A cousin of his by the name of 
Sotaro Masuda was among those who cherished 
designs against his life. Mr. Fukuzawa and Masuda 
had during their boyhood been intimate playmates ; 
but the latter had since become a very conservative 
patriot. He afterwards joined General Saigo in his 
so-called " rebellion " and fell at Kagoshima. Masuda 
had determined to assassinate Mr. Fukuzawa. In 
order to execute his purpose, he one night proceeded 
with a sword to Mr. Fukuzawa's house. As he 
secretly watched through a window, he observed 
Mr. Fukuzawa, quite ignorant of danger, pleasantly- 
talking over sake with a certain Hattori. The 
would-be assassin waited and waited for the departure 
of the visitor ; but they both drank and talked until 
the small hours. Masuda at length tired of waiting, 
abandoned his purpose and departed. The night 
before embarkment, Mr. Fukuzawa with his mother 
and niece lodged at an inn at Unoshima Harbor, 
three miles west of Nakatsu. The innkeeper, 
who shared the views of Masuda, also desired the 
death of Mr. Fukuzawa. Accordingly he planned 
the assassination of the latter with several young 


men of the place. At a signal given by the inn- 
keeper, these young men came, sword in hand, and 
surrounded the inn. Mr. Fukuzawa was indeed at 
the " Jaws of Death," though he knew not of it. 
But curiously enough, as the assassins were about to 
enter the house, they had a difference as to who 
should strike the first blow. Each contended for the 
bloody honor and a stormy dispute ensued. While 
they were quarreling, day broke ; so they gave up 
their murderous intention and went away. 

Mr. Fukuzawa was so much at the risk of as- 
sassination, that in his residence at Mita a special 
place of concealment was provided. Part of the 
floor was built higher than was usual and underneath 
it was a hiding-place, wherein he intended in case of 
danger to conceal himself. 


IT has already been narrated how Mr. Fukuzawa 
began, in the winter of 1858 (the first year of Ansei). 
to teach the Dutch language to a few young samurai 
at Teppozu. In 1860, on his return from America, 
he gave up teaching Dutch and began instead to 
teach English. Then his students numbered between 


forty and fifty, and in 1867 (the third year of Keio) 
the number had increased to eighty. At this time, 
excitement was running high throughout the Empire 
over the fanatic proposal to expel foreigners ; and 
advocates of Western learning were in consequence 
at the constant risk of assassination. But Mr. Fuku- 
zawa continued to teach with calmness. The Bakufu 
university " Shoheiko " and every other school, 
government or private, had gone out of existence 
with the single exception of his school. In Decem- 
ber, 1867, Teppozu was made a foreign settlement : 
whereupon his school was removed to Shinsenza, 
Shiba Ku, where a school-house was built with a 
boarding-house attached. During his second visit to 
the United States, Mr. Fukuzawa had bought as 
many English books as his allowance from the Bakufu 
permitted, these being many dictionaries of different 
kinds and a large number of works on geography, 
history, law, political economy, mathematics, and 
other branches of learning. The students each 
enjoyed the privilege of borrowing these books 
which were the very first copies imported to 
Japan. Owing to these circumstances, the students 
steadily increased in number. Up to this time, the 
school had had no name. Soon after the removal to 


Shinsenza, it was given the name Keio Gijuku after 
the name of the era. At this time, the struggle 
between the Imperialists and the Bakufu party was 
raging, and Yedo was a scene of commotion and 
confusion. Daily business of the city was suspended : 
shops, theatres, public halls, restaurants were closed. 
The surroundings were extremely unfavorable to 
quiet teaching. Moreover, most of the students, be- 
ing samurai of different clans, were obliged to leave 
the school to enlist as soldiers ; and the school was 
for two or three days reduced to only eighteen 
students. Mr. Fukuzawa, however, was not in the 
least discouraged and did not stop teaching even a 
day. The battle of Uyeno (Uyeno Park of to-day) 
took place on the fifteenth of May. On that day he 
commenced to teach Wayland's " Political Economy," 
which had just arrived from abroad. While he was 
lecturing, the report of guns was continually heard, 
but the battle-field being about four miles distant he 
lectured on and did not pay the slightest attention to 
the firing. During the lecture, some of the students 
stole away and went up on the roof of the school- 
building to see the smoke of battle. While Mr. 
Fukuzawa thus continued to teach with calmness and 
perseverance, the desire for a knowledge of Western 


things gradually spread in spite of the war, and 
the number of his students began again lo increase. 
At that time, there was no other school in 
the Empire wherein Western learning might be 
acquired. Mr. Fukuzawa said for encouragement to 
his students : " Many years ago, most European 
countries were conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte. 
Holland with its colonies was invaded by his armies ; 
and there was no place in the world to hoist her flag 
but Deshima in Nagasaki, Japan, which was then 
a Dutch settlement. Here at Deshima the Dutch 
flag was hoisted and thus the independence of 
Holland was not destroyed for a single day. The 
Dutch speak of this fact with pride. Now, our school 
is a Deshima for Western learning in Japan. We 
are preserving it through this turbulent period. Our 
school has never ceased work even a day ; and 
as long as the Keio Gijuku exists, Japan may be 
counted one of the civilized nations. My students, 
you need not trouble yourselves about current events 
in the least.'' 

After some time, the war came to an end and 
peace was restored throughout the country. But 
the new government was too busy with political 
reorganization to pay any attention to educational 


affairs. As late as the time when the clans were 
abolished and the feudal system was destroyed, 
foreign languages, the sciences and arts of the 
West were taught in no other school. At the 
close of the war, the number of students in the Keio 
Gijuku rapidly increased. During the three years 
ending with 1871 (the fourth year of Meiji), the Keio 
Gijuku had an average attendance of three hundred 
students. Many of them were young samurai who 
had fought during the war. Those from Tosa 
province wore long swords and looked as if they were 
ready to draw them on the slightest provocation. 
They sometimes wore women's red garments which, 
they told with pride, they had captured at Aidzu. 
In dealing with these unruly students, Mr. Fukuzawa 
experienced no small difficulty. He made some 
simple regulations for their discipline. Among 
others, the lending and borrowing of money, and 
scribbling on walls, slioji, and desks, were strictly 
prohibited. When he found scribbling on the s/ioji, 
he would cut away the disfigured part and tell the 
students in the room to mend the place. If obstinate 
students would not obey his command, he shrugged 
his shoulders, grinned, and assumed an attitude as if 
he were going to fight with them. He was so tall 


and so strongly built, that they would cower and beg 
his pardon. 

About 1871 Mr. Fukuzawa began to charge the 
students a small monthly tuition fee. This was the 
origin of the present custom of charging monthly 
fees. Up to that time, it had been customary in 
private schools for students twice a year to give their 
teachers some presents in compensation for teaching. 
The presents, which consisted of money or goods, 
were wrapped up in paper ; and the amount was 
determined by the students. Mr. Fukuzawa saw the 
absurdity of this custom. He thought that, in 
respect of remuneration, teaching was not in the least 
different from any other kind of work. Hence it was 
quite right to demand a sum of money for teaching. 
This thought induced him to fix the fee to be paid 
by students ; and he told them to bring the money 
without the customary envelope. Yet at first the 
students did not dare to do this. The money was 
brought in an envelope with a misuhiki* and a noshi.^ 
He said, " These things are very troublesome for 
counting the money" ; and taking the money out of 

* A fine paper cord (usually of white and red color) for tying up 

t A piece of fancy paper always attached to the envelope of a present. 


the envelopes in their presence, he returned the 
envelopes to them. Now-a-days monthly fees are 
common and regarded as a matter of fact ; but at this 
time, they were quite a novelty, and naturally enough 
the students as well as the public thought his act 
very vulgar. 

During this time, the number of students had 
been steadily increasing and the school-building was 
found too small for their accommodation. Hence in 
the spring of 1871 (the fourth year of Meiji), the 
Keio Gijuku was removed to its present site at Mita, 
Shiba Ku. A large mansion with spacious grounds 
which formerly belonged to the lord of Shimabara 
had there been purchased for the school. At the 
same time, Mr. Fukuzawa's residence was also re- 
moved to the new location. It may be remarked 
in passing that the school-building at Shinsenza was 
sold to the Kogyokusha, a well-known private educa- 
tional institution, which remains in the same place to 
this day. The parlors and sitting rooms of the palace 
at Mita were turned into class-rooms ; and the maids- 
of-honor apartments into a boarding-house. The 
ground is thirty times as large as that of the former 
site ; and the building was very much better. The 
site is remarkably well suited for a school. The air is 


pure, the neighborhood is comparatively quiet and 
retired ; and a beautiful view of Shinagawa Bay is to 
be 'seen below. 

The number of students continued to increase ; 
and in 1872, it had become about four hundred. 
About this time, the expansion of the school obliged 
Mr. Fukuzawa himself to discontinue teaching. 
The teaching was now left entirely to some gradu- 
ates of the school who several years before had begun 
to assist in this work, while he confined himself ex- 
clusively to the duties of superintendent. On the 
other hand, Mr. Fukuzawa was very busy writing 
books and translating English works, by which 
means he earned his livelihood. He did not appro- 
priate to private use a single penny from the school 
treasury, but now and then he spent his own money 
on the improvements of the school. It was not in- 
frequent that he gave pecuniary help to some of the 

Until 1874, the instruction of the Keio Gijuku 
was directed chiefly to a mastery of the meaning of 
English books. Now that the intercourse of the 
Japanese with foreigners was becoming more and 
more frequent, speaking and writing English were 
found to be of viral importance. Hence in 1873 (the 


sixth year of Meiji), two Americans were engaged as 
teachers. Since then, the school has had continuously 
in its service a larger or smaller number of foreign 
teachers. Not long afterwards, by the advice of the 
Americans, the Keio Gijuku was organized into a 
college on almost the same footing as American 
colleges. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, 
political economy, history, law, and other common 
branches were included in the curriculum. English, 
however, continued to be the most important subject* 

In 1874 (the seventh year of Meiji), a Primary 
Department for children was attached to the Keio 

In the spring of 1875 (the eighth year of Meiji), 
an auditorium was built close by the school-building, 
the training for speaking and debating having been 
found to be an important part in a complete educa- 
tion. Here teachers and students might speak on 
any subject and they met two or three times a 
month for speaking and debating. Such meetings 
continue to be held to this day. Mr. Fukuzawa 
spoke at almost every meeting. The students could 
not receive his personal instruction in the class-room. 
It was only in the auditorium that they could enjoy 
the privilege of hearing his opinions. His profound 


thougts, his ideas regarding the secrets of how to 
get on in the world, his opinions on literature, finance, 
and a great variety of other subjects, found expres- 
sion in the auditorium. His addresses exercised a 
most profound influence over the education, ideals, 
and character of the students. 

A word about the origin of public speaking in 
Japan may not here be out of place. Strange to say, 
the Japanese had not known the art of public speak- 
ing before Meiji. Mr. Fukuzawa introduced this art 
into Japan ; and the Keio Gijuku auditorium was the 
first building of its kind constructed within the coun- 
try. In the spring of 1873 (the sixth year of Meiji), 
Mr. Fukuzawa came across a small treatise on the 
art of public speaking. As he thought that it would 
be a great benefit to introduce the art to the Japanese 
public, he translated and published this booklet. He 
experienced, he says, no small difficulty in rendering 
the words, " speech ", " debate," " pass," " reject," 
and " second." He and his disciples proceeded to 
apply the theories set forth in the book. By means 
of assiduous practice, they became able to present 
their views to a public audience in a clear, convincing 
and attractive form. It is said that Mr. Fukuzawa 
derived great profit, in the way of indirect sugges- 


tion, from listening to a famaus story-teller named 
Hakuyen. With the ardent desire to extend the 
knowledge and the practice of the art of public speak- 
ing throughout the Empire, he and his followers 
endeavored to persuade their friends to follow their 
example. But the new art gained few devotees. 
There was at this time a society of scholars known 
as the " Meirokusha " of which Mr. Fukuzawa was a 
member. Here the champion urged the claims of 
public speaking, but his advocacy was all in vain. 
Arinori Mori, an earnest advocate of Western learn- 
ing who afterwards became Minister of Education, 
ventured the opinion that the Western custom of 
public speaking was practicable only in the Western 
languages ; that Japanese was suitable only for con- 
versation and was quite inadequate for addressing 
public bodies. To this Mr. Fukuzawa replied, " Is it 
possible that one can converse freely in one's mother 
tongue and yet cannot speak before an audience p 
Certainly Japan has long been familiar with what 
may fairly be called a kind of public speaking. The 
bonzes and story-tellers often address large audiences. 
Surely then it is reasonable to believe that we schol- 
ars can do as well as they." This was his argument; 
but he spoke to deaf ears. Some days later, the 

80 / A//-'/-: or M>. YUKICHI PUKUZAWA. CHAI-. 

same society met again. Among the topics of con- 
versation was the new art ; and again the majority 
spoke of it discouragingly. Then the dauntless cham- 
pion hit upon a clever expedient. He said to his 
friends in an artless way, " Gentlemen, 1 have some- 
thing to tell you. Will you please give me a mo- 
ment ?" They assented and he went on : " Pray, be 
seated on both sides of this table; I will speak here." 
Then he rose at one end of the table and began to 
speak about the Formosan Expedition which was 
the burning question of the day. He continued for 
about an hour very fluently, and they listened with 
unflagging attention. When he finished he took his 
seat and asked them whether they had understood 
him. They answered that they had heard him with 
much interest and had understood him perfectly. 
" Well, then," said Mr. Fukuzawa in triumph, "so 
you see you are quite wrong in saying that one can 
not speak in Japanese before an audience. I have 
been speaking in Japanese, and you have all under- 
stood me. Isn't that a speech ? So let us hear no 
more arguments against public speaking hereafter." 
They were all struck dumb, and from that day the 
battle was won. Since then the practice of public 


speaking gradually became more and more general 
throughout the country. 

In 1890 (the twenty-third year of Meiji), a 
University Department with the three courses in 
Literature, Law, and Economics, and a Commercial 
Department were established. Then His. Majesty 
the Emperor graciously made a contribution to the 
funds, in recognition of the services rendered by the 
institution to the cause of learning. Following the 
Imperial example; many other persons who were 
interested in the Keio Gijuku also generously con- 
tributed to the Endowment Fund. 

The Keio Gijuku is now the greatest private 
institution in Japan and its students number about 

A constant cause of trouble to this institution 
has been the state of its finances. There has 
been collected more or less of a maintenance fund, 
but the interest of this alone is of course total- 
ly inadequate for meeting the current expenses 
and for making improvements which from time to 
time become necessary. The consequent necessity 
in- the past of drawing on the fund itself and the 
possibility -of still further encroachments on It in the 
future have naturally created serious anxiety for t-he 


future of the institution. Hence the Keio Gijuku is 
now appealing to the public for pecuniary contribu- 
tions. It is hoped and confidently expected that the 
public may be sufficiently appreciative and generous 
to contribute the funds which are necessary to per- 
petuate this useful and appropriate monument to a 
noble and unselfish man. 


The Keio Gijuku was at its beginning a home 
school; and although it developed into a large institu- 
tion, it still retained the essence of a home school, 
Mr. Fukuzawa being the spirit of it to his last day. 
His influence over the students was boundless. It is 
no exaggeration to say that there was no student in 
it but became before graduation a Fukuzawa in ideas, 
feelings, opinions, principles, and character. Mr. 
Fukuzawa was, as it were, a second father to every 
student. He loved them with all his heart, and treat- 
ed them as he treated his own children. They enter- 
tained the same affection towards him that they did 
towards their parents. When students called on 
him, he met them gladly and joyfully talked with 
them. He would tell his wife or any member of his 


family who happened to be near him, to " give these 
lads some sweetmeats" ; and would tell the young 
visitors to make themselves at home. When students 
called on him for the first time, he would inquire 
about their birth-places, their social standing, the 
wealth and professions of their parents, their ages, 
their health, and their aims in life. He would ask, 
*' Are you healthy? Is your father rich or poor? 
Have you any tact in dealing with people?" These 
questions he asked in order to make them think about 
their future. The following anecdote shows how he 
loved his students. One day a certain lieutenant- 
general who was quite a stranger called to see 
him. Mr. Fukuzawa had his servant inquire whether 
the visitor had any letter of introduction. The gen- 
eral had none. Mr. Fukuzawa declined to see him. 
The general was offended and thought, " I am a 
high officer of the Empire. He ought to know me 
by reputation. He is very impolite in declining to 
see me." But he thought again, "Oh, I am mistaken. 
He is a great man and his refusing to see me without 
any letter of introduction is not unreasonable. For- 
tunately I know a student in his college. So I had 
better get myself introduced to him by the student." 
He called on Mr. Fukuzawa again accompanied by 


the student. This time he was gladly welcomed by 
Air. Fukuzavva and a pleasant conversation was car- 
ried on between them for hours. 


About 1 2,000 men have attended the Keio Gijuku 
since its establishment and about 3,000 of them 
have graduated. They have engaged in different 
lines of work. Some of them are statesmen ; some 
are journalists ; some are educators ; some are govern- 
ment officials ; and a considerable number of them 
are business men. During the first years of its exist- 
ence, they fought against the antiquated principles 
of the Chinese system of education and did their 
best in introducing Western knowledge and Western 
methods of education. During this period the Keio 
Gijuku made thinkers who were needed by the times; 
and most of them worked as educators and scholars. 
The public regarded the Keio Gijuku as the sole 
agency concerned in introducing new knowledge from 
the West. When the new government, contrary to 
expectations of the people, began to adopt despotic 
measures, the Keio Gijuku men exerted themselves 
with a view to correct the government policy. They 


argued against these oppressive measures and sought, 
by instructing the political leaders, to win them over 
to a liberal policy. During that time, the Keio Gijuku 
sent out many earnest politicians and champions of 
the people's rights. The government yielded to the 
demands of the people and granted liberty of speech 
and public discussion. Finally a constitution was 
promulgated and it was declared that a Diet should 
be established to represent the various interests of 
the nation. Then the people became too enthusiastic 
in their devotion to politics, and most men of ability, 
sought occupation only in the public service. Con- 
sequently the various economic interests which are 
the source of national prosperity and which depend 
upon private initiative began to suffer. Then the 
Keio Gijuku men began to call the attention of the 
public to the prime importance of business interests, 
and most of them have been devoting themselves to 
the development of commerce and industries. Nine 
out of ten Keio Gijuku students of the present day 
aim at becoming business men. Almost half of the 
important positions in banks, manufactories, com- 
mercial firms in Japan, are filled by the Keio Gijuku 
alumni ; and they are succeeding well. In the spirit 
of independence and self-respect, in common sense, 


in the spirit of forbearance, in freedom from formal- 
ism, in the tactful dealing with people, in practical 
morality, in the ability to seize opportunities in 
these qualities which are essential to business men, 
they have no superiors. These qualities are the char- 
acteristics of the Keio Gijuku men in general. In a 
word, each of them is a small Fukuzawa. Although 
Mr. Fukuzawa is now dead, his spirit and principles 
are kept alive by them ; and there is every reason to 
believe that the Keio Gijuku will continue to be as 
prosperous as it was during his life. 



MR. Fukuzawa's career as a writer was com- 
menced in 1860 (the first year of Banyen) and 
continued down to 1899 (the 32nd year of Meiji), that 
is two years before his death, the interval being a 
long period of forty years. His writings cover a 
wide range of subjects in language, science, politics, 
religion, and morals. Scarcely an important topic of 
human interest was left untouched by him. He 
wrote fifty-five works in more than one hundred 
volumes, not to speak of numerous articles inserted 


in the Jiji Shimpd and many other essays not yet 

His books were all published at his own cost. 
The proceeds from his writings constituted during 
forty years his sole income ; yet he thereby earned 
enough to support in ease and comfort his large 

Mr. Fukuzawa wrote with a view to break down 
the ideas, beliefs, and customs of the Old Japan, and 
to substitute as a foundation for the New Japan the 
principles of Western civilization. His object was 
thoroughly to Westernize the nation as a whole, and 
in the attainment of this object the measure of his 
success was remarkable. Unlike most of his con- 
temporaries, he wrote for the people in general and 
not chiefly for students and for the upper classes. 
Such being his purpose, he created a style of his own 
which is singularly adapted to people of every class. 
It combines in a most striking manner great lucidity 
and extreme simplicity. Prof. Dening says of his 
style : " To deal with difficult subjects in a way that 
makes them perfectly intelligible to the most ordinary 
comprehension this requires special gifts gifts with 
which only a Very few people in any age or any 
country are endowed. No matter on what subject 


Mr. Fukuzawa wrote, there was striking lucidity 
about all he said. As a foreigner I may say that I 
know no Japanese writer whom it is easier to under- 
stand than Mr. Fukuzawa." 

In the ability to treat profound and complicated 
subjects in plain language, Mr. Fukuzawa had no 
equal. His style is not only lucid and simple but it 
has also vigor and charm. Humor and sarcasm also 
appear in his writings. It is a special characteristic 
of his style that where vulgar and obscene things 
must be mentioned, they are spoken of in elegant 
language. In the happy use of similes and apt 
illustrations, his writings have never been surpassed. 
It is said that Mr. Chushii Mishima, the celebrated 
scholar and writer, whenever lecturing on composition 
and rhetoric, cites Mr. Fukuzawa's style as the most 
perfect in the use of felicitous illustrations. In 
consequence of its simplicity and clearness, its vigor 
and directness, its ease and charm, its imagery and 
elegance, the " Fukuzawa style " or " Mita style " is 
justly famed throughout the Empire. Mr. Fukuzawa 
may therefore be truly designated the greatest 
Japanese writer of his time. 

. Mr. Fukuzawa owed, as he. confesses in his 
Autobiography, much for his style -to -suggestions of 


his master Koan Ogata. The latter, when translating 
Dutch, grasped only the general idea and did not 
trouble himself about minor points, intelligibility 
being his all important principle. Mr. Fukuzawa 
was once translating a work on fortification by a 
Dutchman. His master said to him, " You must bear 
in mind that you are translating a book for the 
military classes which are as a rule illiterate and 
ignorant. So you must be careful not to use difficult 
expressions ; and you are advised not to consult any 
Chinese dictionary lest you may be tempted to 
employ difficult words." This advice became the 
guiding principle with Mr. Fukuzawa in writing and 
translation. He endeavored as far as possible not to 
make use of cumbrous Chinese characters which most 
writers take pride in using. Sometimes he had his 
manuscripts read to illiterate women and children, 
and wherever they could not understand, he found 
some difficult phrases which he without hesitation 
changed into easier ones. 

The very first book written by Mr. Fukuzawa 
was " Vocabulary and Phrases in English, Chinese, 
and Japanese" which appeared in the autumn of 1860 
(the first year of Banyen). It was by the publication 
rt'Seiyd Jijo or "Things Western" that he became 


known throughout the Empire as an author. This 
work consists of three volumes, of which the first 
was brought out in July, 1866 (the second year of 
Keio), the second in the winter of the following year, 
and the last in the autumn of 1869 (the second year 
of Meiji). The subjects treated in the first volume 
are : the forms of government, methods of taxation, 
national debts, postal systems, paper money, firms, 
foreign intercourse, military system, literature and 
the arts, schools, libraries, newspapers, hospitals, 
poor-houses, asylums for mutes and for the blind, 
lunatic asylums, kindergartens, museums, exhibitions, 
steam engines, steamships, railways, telegraphs, and 
gas-lights. In addition, it contains much historical 
information about the governments, armies, navies 
and finances of the chief Western countries. The 
second volume is a translation of Chambers' "Political 
Economy" and of two or three other works on the 
same subject. The third volume is a translation of 
portions of Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws 
of England" and of the section on "Taxation" in 
Wayland's "Elements of Political Economy." The 
contents of the first volume are simple and rather 
shallow descriptions of the things in the West which 
are now-a-days familiar even to school-boys. For 


example, the chapter on ' Newspapers" begins thus: 
" Newspapers are publications issued by companies 
for general circulation, intended to convey intelligence 
of current events." But since no such book had 
previously been published in Japan, these things were 
quite novel to the Japanese. Hence the first volume 
was welcomed by the public with such great 
enthusiasm that 182,000 copies of it were quickly 
sold a sale that was quite extraordinary for a 
Japanese book. Since authors in Japan did not at 
that time enjoy the strict protection of copy-right 
laws, some cunning publishers in Osaka and Kyoto 
printed and sold pirated copies to the number of at 
least 100,000. No other book ever contributed so 
much towards opening the eyes of our countrymen 
who had been quite ignorant of affairs in the outside 
world. Even conservative patriots and ignorant 
rdnins whose motto had been to "expel the hairy 
barbarians" began to modify their proposal after the 
appearance of this book. Afterwards, when the 
leaders of the new government decided to adopt a 
progressive policy and while they were yet ignorant 
of practical methods of procedure, they found in this 
book important help and guidance. Indeed "Things 


Western" was, as it were, a pillar of fire illuminating 
the darkness of general ignorance. 

"How to Handle the Rifle" appeared in Sep- 
tember, 1866 (the second year of Keioj. The signal 
victory of the Choshu clan in the battle against the 
Bakufu had been gained chiefly by rifles. Having 
heard of this, Mr. Fukuzawa thought that the rifle 
would after a few years come into general use. 
Fortunately he found an English book "On the Use 
of the Rifle." He was eager to translate it, but he 
was not equal to the task ; for, though born in a 
military class, he had never even seen a rifle and 
consequently had no idea about the use of fire-arms. 
But fortunately a younger brother of his wife was 
then learning the art of firing the rifle. Mr. Fuku- 
zawa had this youth bring his rifle, and, by the aid 
of directions in the book, he took the rifle to pieces 
and again put it together. After he had in this way 
obtained a practical knowledge of the rifle, he 
immediately set to work to translate the book. As 
this little book supplied a need of the time, many 
thousand copies of the translation were sold. About 
twenty years later when the translator met at the 
Koishikawa arsenal Major-general Murata,' the in- 
ventor of- the- celebrated "Murata rifle," the latter 


said to him, "In my youth when I began to learn 
gunnery, I got much instruction from your work 
" How to Handle the Rifle." 

During the two years ending in August, 1869 
(the second year of Meiji), the following books were 
brought out : A Guide to Travelling in the Western 
Countries ; The Eleven Treaty Powers ; Clothes, 
Food, and Utensils in the West ; Elements of Physics 
Illustrated ; the Western Tactics ; A Bird's Eye View 
of the Nations in the World ; The Intercourse be- 
tween China and England ; the English Parliament ; 
the World's Geography. 

Two of these may be singled -out as worthy of 
special mention. 

Elements of Physics Illustrated, which was 
published in the autumn of 1868, is a translation of 
some English and American authors ; but the il- 
lustrations therein are all taken from things Japanese, 
and the phraseology is extremely easy. It is the 
first book of the kind written in such simple Japanese; 
so that it was very extensively read. Perhaps there 
has never been in Japan any other book which has 
contributed so much to popularize the principles of 
physics. Speaking of the reasons for writing this 
work, the author says, "When the country was opened 


to foreign intercourse, it was an ardent desire with 
us, scholars of Western learning, to convert the 
masses of the people to progressive principles. As 
champions of the Western civilization, we endeavored 
to demonstrate the real merits of its fundamental 
principles as well as to expose the weaknesses of 
Chinese doctrines. We tried every means in our 
power for this purpose and none was more effectual 
than to persuade the ignorant by teaching them the 
principles of physics which do not admit gainsaying. 
It seems to me that every man young or old who, 
having once read a book on physics or having heard 
its principles explained, believes the truths of the 
science from the bottom of his heart must become a 
thorough devotee to Western knowledge and can 
never return to the old faith in Chinese doctrines. 
This having been proved by our experience, we 
determined to instruct the masses of the people in 
the principles of physics as the first means of winning 
them to our cause. But as it was a thing never 
dreamed of to make the innumerable people stud)' 
the science in the original languages, the only way 
left us was to provide them with translations. 
There had, indeed, been publishsd some transla- 
tions on physics before this time ; but they were too 


elegant and difficult in style for common people. 
These reasons induced me to translate this work." 

The "World's Geography" was published in the 
spring of 1869 (the second year of Meiji). The 
author's purpose being to "make all the people as 
familiar with the names and situations of the 
countries in the world as they are with those of the 
provinces in their own country," it was written in a 
style suited to general readers. Consequently it was 
read very extensively, earnest readers being found 
especially among school-boys. 

"Encouragement of Learning" in seventeen 
volumes was published one volume after another 
between the spring of 1872 (the fifth year of Meiji) 
and November, 1876 (the ninth year of Meiji). The 
principles maintained in the work being quite new to 
the Japanese, it had so wide a circulation that no 
less than 220,000 copies of the first volume were 
sold. In this work Mr. Fukuzawa attacked the 
errors of Chinese doctrines and for the first time 
clearly and boldly advocated the essential principles 
of the Western civilization. Mere forms of the 
\Vestern civilization were treated in his previous 
works ; this work was a gospel of its essence and 
spirit. He taught that "Heaven does not make one 

96 / LfFK OF Mr. \ f UK 1C HI FUKUZAWA. CHAP. 

man above another nor one man under another. All 
men are born equal in rank and rights ; " that the 
difference in their circumstances is caused mainly by 
their learning or ignorance ; learning is the only way 
to wealth and honor. "Heaven does not give 
wealth and honor to men but to their merits." 
But by learning he does not mean the knowledge of 
difficult words and verse-making which were over- 
estimated by Chinese scholars, but such knowledge 
as has close relations with practical life. The 
government being a mere representative of the 
people, its officials have no right to look down on the 
people. Individual liberty is sacred and inviolable^ 
" If, therefore, officials interfere with this right, the 
people must remonstrate with them." Mr. Fuku- 
zawa attacks despotic rule which is a characteristic 
of Confucianists, on the ground that it makes the 
people helpless and irresponsible. Individual inde- 
pendence is the foundation of national independence 
and prosperity. In deploring the helplessness and 
servility of the people in general he says, " Having 
been oppressed by despotism during hundreds of 
years, our countrymen have become servile, ignorant, 
helpless, dishonest, and destitute of a spirit of 
independence and honor. They have almost no 


interest in affairs of the state. They do not know 
how to assert their own rights ; and they rely upon 
the government in every thing. Even those who are 
professedly trained according to the principles of 
Western civilization almost all of them are busy 
with hunting for places and do not even try private 
undertakings. They well know how to act as rulers 
but are quite incapable of acting as private citizens. 
They are not free from the evils which pertain to the 
Chinese system. They are, so to speak, Confucian- 
ists clad in the external garb of Western civilization. 
It can be safely said that there is in Japan only the 
government and that there is no nation. Promoting 
Japan's civilization, maintaining her independence, 
leading this helpless nation, realizing their rights, and 
removing the evils of the Old Japan all this is the 
mission left to us (Mr. Fukuzawa and his followers). 
It is our resolve to act the part of social reformers. 
Let us be up and doing." How great were the 
impressions made upon the people by these sugges- 
tions it would be difficult to overestimate. Mr. 
Fukuzawa thus sowed the seeds which subsequently 
matured into the agitations for extending the people's 
rights. To him is owed the honor of being the very 
first advocate of the people's rights. While thus 


urging the people's rights, Mr. Fukuzawa did not 
neglect teaching the inviolability of state laws. 
He emphasizes the duty of the people to obey the 
government and national laws, and speaks of the 
wrong of private punishment and of the assassination 
of political opponents. In the way of illustration, he 
criticises the vengeance of the famous forty-seven 
ronins of Akao on the enemy of their dead lord. 
Avenging the death of one's master or father by 
killing his enemy had for centuries been recognized 
by public opinion as morally right and even 
laudable. At certain periods murder of this kind 
had even been permitted under government license. 
One who had avenged the death of his master or 
father had been universally admired. Special admira- 
tion, even adoration, was accorded to the rdnins of 
Akao. Consequently Mr. Fukuzawa's argument was 
extensively regarded as sacrilege. Another argument, 
however, occasioned still greater popular excitement. 
Speaking of the proper attitude to be taken by a 
people in case their government becomes extremely 
tyrannical, Mr. Fukuzawa says, "The people must 
not stoop to such a government, but at the same 
time it is not advisable to resist it by force. The 
best way left for patriots is individually to remon- 


strate against the tyranny, determined to die martyrs. 
The death of a martyr is truly worth death. But 
so-called 'Loyal Retainers,' much talked of in Japan, 
are not martyrs. They did not fight for the sake 
of social well-being, but for their master's interests. 
Some of them died simply in a war between two 
imperial dynasties which were contending for supreme 
power, and their death did not contribute anything 
to the advancement of civilization. They died in vain. 
They may be likened, so far as their mode of death 
is concerned, to an honest servant who, having lost 
on the way of an errand a sum of money entrusted 
him by his master, has killed himself as an apology 
to his master. In my judgment Sogoro Sakura* is 

* S6gord Sakura was a village head in the clan of Sakura in the 
province of Shim&sa who lived about two hundred and fifty years ago. 
The lord of Sakura being an imbecile, the clan administration was in the 
hands of some knavish officials, who, in order to enrich themselves, 
increased the weight of taxes to such an extravagant extent that the 
peasants were driven to the verge of starvation. Sogoro, who was a 
public-spirited and chivalrous man, determined to risk life, and all that 
was dear to him, to relieve the sufferings of his fellow-peasants. He, in 
conjunction with the heads of all the other villages in the clan, repeatedly 
petitioned the clan authorities for abatement of the rate of taxes but in 
vain. He, then, proceeded to Yedo and presented to the Shogun a 
memorial protesting against the tyranny of his lord. Even to protest 
was at that time a capital offence. Hence, S6goro was crucified and his 
four children were decapitated in the presence of a multitude of 
sympathizing spectators. But his protest had the des-red effect : the 
burdens of his fellow-peasants were lightened. 

ioo //,//'/: o I' Mr. YVKZCtttfV&UZAWA. CHAP. 

the only martyr in Japan." This argument was 
exceedingly shocking to his countrymen who consider 
loyalty to the Imperial house as the culmination of 
virtue. Since the people interpreted his argument 
as applicable to the much glorified death of Masa- 
shige Kusunoki,** the ideal type of loyalty, it was 
considered a gross insult to the loyalty and patriotism 
of the Japanese. Popular indignation became 
intense. Most of the Tokyo newspapers assailed 
Mr. Fukuzawa with bitter adverse criticism, and he 
was often spoken of as a "traitor." Towards the 
close of 1874 (the seventh year of Meiji), attacks and 
slander reached their climax and he was deluged with 

** At the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Go-Daigo (who 
reigned 1319 1339), the throne and the nation were alike trampled 
under foot by the Hqjo " Regent " at Kamakura. The Emperor under- 
took to overthrow the military usurpation at Kamakura and a number 
of loyal patriots came to his help. Among them Masashige Kusunoki, 
also called Nanko, is most celebrated. His military valor and his 
unswerving loyalty to the throne inspired many warriors to loyal 
exertions and in consequence the Imperialists gradually increased in 
power, until they were able, in 1333, to destroy the Hqjo family. But the 
Emperor was not destined long to enjoy in peace his supreme power. 
Takauji Ashikaga, who desired to become shogun and to usurp supreme 
power, raised a standard of rebellion and mustered a large army. At 
the head of this army, he marched against Kyoto. Kusunoki proposed 
to the Emperor an ingenious plan of operations, but unfortunately it 
was rejected and his advice ignored. He was compelled to bear the 
brunt of battle against overwhelming forces at Minatogawa, near Hyogo, 


letters of menace. Even many of his friends advised 
him publicly to renounce his opinion. He was 
constantly exposed to the imminent risk of assassina- 
tion. He thereupon wrote to one of the most 
important Tokyo newspapers, the Clioya Shimbun, 
under an assumed name, a long article in which he 
most eloquently defended his former argument. 
This defence proved effective, and popular clamor 
gradually subsided. 

In 1872 (the fifth year of Meiji), the lunar 
calendar was abolished and the Gregorian system 
adopted by the government ; but the people in 
general did not know the reasons for the change. 
Then Mr. Fukuzawa wrote "On the Change of the 

and was there hopelessly defeated. He and a little band of personal 
followers killed themselves rather than surrender. Then Ashikaga 
entered the Imperial capital with a large force and the Emperor was 
obliged to seek safety in flight. Thereupon Ashikaga set an Imperial 
prince on the throne and he himself assumed real sovereignty. But as 
Go-Daigo continued to be recognized by many as the rightful sovereign, 
the Imperial power was split into two rival branches, called the Southern 
(legitimate) and the Northern (usurping) Courts. 

Masatsura, the son of Masashige, and some other loyal patriots 
endeavored to restore the power of the Southern Court ; but after sixty 
years of strife and misery, the Northern Court triumphed in 1392, the 
representative of the Southern dynasty handing over to it the Imperial 
regalia. Go-Daigo died early in the struggle. 

Masashige Kusunoki is held in admiring remembrance to this 
day by his grateful countrymen as the model of loyalty and patriotic 

102 / LIFE OF Mr. Yl.'A'fCI/f FUKUZAWA. CHAP. 

Calendar" giving an explanation for the change. It 
was a very small book consisting of about ten pages 
and only six hours were spent in writing it. The 
price was a few sen per copy. It sold so well that 
two or three months later the net profit amounted to 
over 700 yen. The meditations thereby suggested 
to the author he himself records : "I am surprised 
that six hours' labor should earn 700 yen \ Is it 
right for a scholar to get so large an amount for so 
little labor? " Further sale during two or three more 
months brought the total income of the author from 
this little pamphlet up to 1,500 yen. In February, 
1873 (the sixth year of Meiji), he translated a work- 
on book-keeping the very first book of the kind 
ever published in Japanese. He says, ''Among my 
works this one gave me the greatest amount of 
trouble and pains." This work was followed by the 
"Art of Public Speaking" to which reference has 
been already made.* 

In March, 1875 (the 8th year of Meiji), appeared 
"On Civilization," which sets forth the true signifi- 
cance of civilization and gives a brief history of 
civilization in Europe and in Japan. Most of the 

* See the chapter on the Keio Gijuku. 


views are derived from Buckle's and Guizot's works 
on the history of civilization in Europe. Later 
works published by Mr. Fukuzawa were : "Advice to 
Scholars ; " " On Decentralization " published in 
November, 1876; ''Political Economy, for General 
Readers" (November, 1877); "Miscellaneous Essays" 
(January, 1878); "On Currency" (April, 1878): "On 
the People's Rights, for General Readers" (April, 
1 878) ; "On the Power of the State, for General 
Readers" (July, 1878); "A Suggestion for Political 
Reform" (July, 1879) ; "About Current Events" (July, 
1881) ; "The Course of Events" (1882); and "On the 
Imperial Court" (May, 1882). 

With the exception of " Political Economy," 
" Miscellaneous Essays," and " On Currency," the 
above works were written with the view to re-establish 
harmony between the government and the people, 
or rather disaffected politicians and scholars, between 
whom bitter antagonism had arisen. 

Since the adoption of a progressive policy, the 
government had been busy with political and social 
improvement. The measures adopted by the gov- 
ernment did not, however, satisfy political enthusi- 
asts. After it was proposed by Mr. (afterwards 
Count) Itagaki and others to open a national as- 


sembly, zealous politicians began, both through the 
press and on the platform, to demand an extension 
of the people's rights. Exasperated by this agita- 
tion, the government adopted repressive measures 
against the agitators. A bitter antagonism thus 
rapidly developed between the government and the 
professed champions of the people's cause. The con- 
tention became most embittered in the years 1875-6 
(eighth and ninth of Meiji). With a view to bring 
about a better understanding and to re-establish 
harmony between the parties to the strife, Mr. 
Fukuzawa wrote "Advice to Scholars" and "On 
Decentralization." In the former work, he assured 
those who sought to secure the people's rights that 
the government also shared their progressive views. 
He reproached them for attacking the government 
merely because they vainly coveted positions in it. 
He added that the duties, activities, and opportuni- 
ties of educated men were not confined to politics ; 
but that industry, commerce, private enterprises of 
every kind demanded with equal urgence the atten- 
tion of such men. In his work " On the People's 
Rights, for General Readers," he said that the rights 
of the people could not be realized without general 
advancement. He advised the champions of the 


people's cause to gain independent livelihood and to 
conduct themselves well, before they advocated the 
people's rights. In " A Suggestion for Political 
Reform " (July, 1879), he said that both progressive 
and conservative principles were indispensable to the 
attainment of true political progress ; that the only 
hope to preserve national peace lay in adopting a 
constitutional government similar to that of England 
where administration is in the hands of a party 

The work last mentioned was speedily followed 
by a lengthy article on the " Necessity of Opening a 
National Assembly" which was inserted in a disguised 
style in the " leader " columns of the Hochi Shimbun. 
The article was published in successive parts which 
continued for about twelve days, beginning July 29, 
1879. Soon after the appearance of this article, 
owing either to it or to a remarkable coincidence, 
almost every newspaper in Tokyo began to discuss 
the same question. Even the provincial press took 
up the discussion with surprising energy. Gradually 
the proposal enlisted the enthusiasm of every patriot, 
until in the beginning of the following year, a 
memorial supported by over 80,000 men was pre- 
sented to the government, petitioning it to open a 


national assembly. The demand of the people for 
the establishment of such an assembly continued 
until the government (Oct., 1881) declared by procla- 
mation that an Imperial Diet should be opened in 

In July, r 88 1, when the national excitement 
over the proposal to establish a national assembly 
reached its culminating point, Mr. Fukuzawa pub- 
lished " About Current Events" in order to divert the 
attention of the people from the overwrought 
agitation. In this work, he blamed the people for 
their excessive zeal in pressing political demands, 
and reminded them of the greater importance of 
promoting national wealth and power. If the people 
should continue their struggle against the govern- 
ment, the independence of the Empire might be 
endangered by foreign aggressions. He, therefore, 
advised the political enthusiasts to exert themselves 
for the strengthening of national power. He added : 
"We have a fable to the following effect. A top- 
shell hid himself in his shell, considering himself 
quite comfortable and beyond the reach of harm. 
But while he was thus enjoying himself, he suddenly 
heard outside an unusual noise. Putting his head 
out of the shell, he looked about and, to his great 


surprise, found himself with his shell on live coals. 
The country being a shell to us, we must not forget 
for a moment to protect it against foreign aggression. 
The struggle for existence is raging even in the 
so-called ' civilized countries.' Unless we are on 
guard, the calamity of the top-shell might befall us. 
I. regret that the public are too enthusiastic with the 
proposal for opening a national assembly to pay 
any attention to this matter." 


THE necessity to the progress of Japan of an 
independent and impartial journal led Mr. Fuku- 
zawa in the spring of 1882 (Meiji 15) to start they/)V 
Shimpo. During about fifteen years after its estab- 
lishment, he wrote most of its leading articles ; and 
those written by his sub-editors were either written 
at his suggestion or revised by him. The editorial 
staff was almost exclusively recruited from the 
graduates of the Keio Gijuku. Mr. Fukuzawa then 
trained them in both style and thought specially for 
the work. 

Mr. Fukuzawa possessed exceptional ability and 
many special qualifications for the work of journalist. 

io8 .-/ f.ff-'E Ol<' Mr. YUK1CHI FUKUZAWA. CHAP. 

His disregard of rank and titles, his impartiality and 
spirit of independence, his boldness in expressing 
his views, his thoughts which were always in advance 
of those of his age, his power of accurate and minute 
observation which gave him a keen insight into the 
actual state of things, his sound common sense, his 
learning which was very broad, though perhaps not 
very profound, his power of generalization, his strong 
and vivid imagination, and his unrivalled style all 
these combined made him an ideal journalist. The 
Japan Daily Advertiser says, '* For vigor and clear- 
ness, as well as for the power of homely and telling 
illustration, the editorial columns of the Jiji Shimpd 
of which he (Mr. Fukuzawa) was the guiding spirit, 
have been hardly matched by any other journal of 
any land, not even excepting the Neiv York Tribune 
in the best days of Horace Greely." 

The /iji Shimpo has had no connection with 
any political party. It is impartial and independent in 
its views, and consequently it has great influence with 
people of every class. Among the leading Japanese 
journals, it has the largest circulation and the greatest 
influence. The Kobe Chronicle is quite right in saying, 
"This journal (the Jiji Shimpd} has been sometimes 
compared with the London Times. We venture to 


say that for impartiality, broad-mindedness, and a 
keen sense of right and justice, the /iji Shimpd under 
the editorship of men trained by the Sage of Mita is 
far and away the superior of the London journal, 
which in some respects is narrow in the extreme. 
It is to the honor of the//// Shimpd that it has never 
hesitated to take the unpopular side." 

Most of the leading Japanese journals represent 
special interests. Some of them deal principally 
with politics and others with business. Some jour- 
nals attach special importance to literary matters. 
Consequently they find subscribers only in particular 
circles. The Jiji Shimpo, on the other hand, is 
many-sided. In its columns, almost every subject 
receives discussion which is proportioned to its im- 
portance. Politics, finance, industry, commerce, 
scientific discoveries and inventions, art, literature, 
even sports, all receive clear and concise treatment. 
It combines in itself the merits of all other journals, 
so that any person of any class can find something 
of interest to him in it. 

The Jiji Shimpd, unlike most other papers, 
exercises great prudence in publishing news of a 
purely personal nature. Slander or even a semblance 
of it is never found in its columns : so that one who 


takes only this journal need expect no information 
about personal or social scandals. Mr. Fukuzawa 
used to say to its editors, " You have the liberty to 
\vrite your opinion about any subject. But when 
criticizing individuals, you must not write any thing 
but what you dare say in their presence. You must 
abstain from slander, for that does not become an 
honorable gentleman." 

No other journal has contributed so much to 
the progress of Japanese civilization. It has made 
contributions in every field of activity, but its efforts 
have been directed primarily to the reform of cus- 
toms and manners. It has rendered a most im- 
portant service in breaking down a highly injurious 
evil of long standing : viz., an excessive regard for 
public office and a corresponding disdain for private 
citizens and for private occupations. In national 
emergencies, it has acted the part of arbitrator 
between antagonistic parties. As the champion of 
greater rights, privileges, and opportunities for wo- 
men, both in the family and in the society, and in 
its multiform and effective encouragement of in- 
dustry and commerce, it has rendered its most 
distinguished services. 


Below arc given the titles of the books written 
by Mr. Fukuzawa after the establishment of his 
journal. They were inserted, with one or two 
exceptions, as leading articles in his journal before 
they appeared in book form. 

On the Moral Training of Young Men : 

November, 1882 (Meiji 15). 
On Military Extension : November, 1882. 
On the Independence of Education from 

the State : February, 1883. 
On General Conscription : 1884. 
On Foreign Intercourse, for General Read- 
ers : June, 1884. 
On Japanese Women : 1885. 
On Men's Ways to Live in the World : 

December, 1885. 
On the Intercourse between Men and 

Women: June, 1886. 
On Japanese Men : February, 1888. 
On the Revering of the Emperor. 
The Future of the Imperial Diet. 
The Cause of the Conflict Between the 
Government and the Imperial Diet : 
A Word about Public Peace. 


On the Land Tax. 

Some Suggestions to Business Men : April, 

" On Military Extension " was intended by 
Mr. Fukuzawa to call public attention to the imper- 
fect state of the Japanese army and navy. This he 
did by comparing them with the armies and navies 
of the chief Western powers. Extension of both 
army and navy was advocated in order to maintain 
the prestige of Japan. Since this would require 
increased taxation, Mr. Fukuzawa advised the gov- 
ernment to give appointments to distinguished 
champions of popular rights in order to win popular 
sympathy. In December, 1883, after a law estab- 
lishing general conscription was promulgated, ap- 
peared an essay of moderate length, " On General 
Conscription," explaining the reasons and advantages 
of the law. In the same year appeared "On Foreign 
Intercourse, for General Readers." In this work the 
evils of extra-territorial jurisdiction in Japan were 
emphasized, and he earnestly advised his countrymen 
to endeavor to have the foreign settlements abolished 
and the power to fix the rates of customs duties 
restored to the Japanese government. 


In " Men's Ways to Live in the World," Mr. 
Fukuzawa attacked the folly of place-hunting. Quite 
extraordinary honor was still associated with official 
positions. Hence every ambitious youth sought to 
serve the government, while commerce, industry, 
private enterprises of all kinds were almost entirely 
neglected by men of ability. Accordingly, this 
pernicious custom, which was so characteristic of 
feudal Japan, was vigorously attacked by our earnest 
reformer. He insisted that the life of a government 
official is not worthy of the ambition of an energetic 
youth, that private enterprises afford him more ample 
scope for useful activity and offer greater rewards for 
successful achievement. In this connection, he tried 
to correct the false idea of his countrymen about 
money. In feudal times, honest poverty had been 
considered by the military classes as one of the 
primary virtues. Their disregard of money more 
than anything else distinguished them from other 
social classes. After the Meiji Restoration, this idea 
still prevailed among the educated classes, who 
regarded money with something like the contempt 
of the old samurai. Persons who belonged to the 
upper classes did not consider it bad to spend more 
than one earns, nor were they ashamed of debt. 


Mr. Fukuzawa endeavored to correct this false idea. 
He sometimes even asserted that money is everything 
and that those who cannot make wealth by honest 
means cannot be called wise men. In '* Men's 
Ways to Live in the World" he says : " As civiliza- 
tion advances, money becomes more and more 
powerful. It is mightier than any thing else. 
Where money is there is glory and honor. My 
countrymen, you must exert yourselves with all your 
strength to make money, in order that the fountain 
of national power may be deepened." In an essay 
written about the same time, the following passage is 
found : " So long as we live in this world, money is 
the most important thing. It is money that enables 
us to provide ourselves with clothes, food and dwell- 
ings. It is by money that we can support our families. 
Without money we can not enjoy home pleasures. 
Intercourse with friends can be kept only by money. 
We need money for charity, and indeed for every 
other purpose. Money is, in truth, the mother of 
independence." Mr. Fukuzawa not only wrote but 
also frequently spoke of the power and importance of 
money. The present author who had then just 
entered the Kei6 Gijuku was much surprised to hear 
him say in the course of a speech delivered in the 


Keio Gijuku auditorium : " Regarded from the 
economic point of view, a society is composed mainly 
of two classes ; that is, a productive and an unproduc- 
tive class. Government officials, lawyers, clergymen, 
scholars, statesmen, teachers and the like form the 
unproductive class. This class is not so important to 
a poor country like Japan as the other class which is 
composed of merchants, manufacturers and farmers. 
Suppose that the men belonging to the unproductive 
class died all at once, would Japan then suffer greatly? 
No, not at all. She could do quite as well without 
them." How revolting this argument was to my 
thoughts ! I was not alone in thinking unfavorably 
of his opinion about wealth. At one time, this view 
of wealth made him quite unpopular. Many scholars 
considered him a worshipper of mammon and heaped 
reproaches upon him. But they were quite wrong in 
their judgment. The fact is that none of them was 
so far from being a mammon worshipper as Mr. 
Fukuzawa was. He emphasized the value of money 
merely with a view to correct pernicious misconcep- 
tions of it, and to impress upon his countrymen the 
dignity of private occupations and independence. If 
he apparently exaggerated the importance of money, 
it was doubtless due to a belief that extreme views 


would be most effectively combated by a forcible 
presentation of the opposite extreme for there can 
be no doubt that the misconceptions which he sought 
to correct had given rise to real and serious evils. A 
clearer conception of his object and meaning has 
since transformed aversion into affection, and only a 
few of the hopelessly narrow and persistently blind 
now reiterate the once common charge of debasing 
materialism. Meanwhile the truths which he sought 
to impress have been very generally accepted by the 
Japanese nation. 

" On Japanese Women," " On Conduct," " In- 
tercourse between Men and Women," and " On 
Japanese Men " were all written to emancipate 
women from the restraints of the old-fashioned code 
of morality. By Confucians and Buddhists women 
are considered physically and mentally much inferior 
to men ; and moralists of the Chinese school taught 
the woman absolute submission, not only to her 
husband, but also to her parents-in-law and even, 
when old, to her children. The woman had no 
property of her own ; she had no responsibility ; she 
had no power in her home ; and consequently her 
social standing was very low. The house which she 
inhabited belonged to her husband ; the children she 


bore were his : she was, so to speak, a parasite of her 
husband's house. Furthermore, social intercourse 
between men and women hardly existed ; and second 
marriage of young widows was discouraged by public 
opinion. On the other hand, Confucian moralists 
taught nothing about the duties of a man to his wife. 
Consequently men were generally licentious and were 
indifferent towards their wives. If a man's wife bore 
him no child, he might with propriety keep con- 
cubines ; for, according to the Confucian view, the 
chief function of marriage was to produce an heir for 
the man. Furthermore, men husbands included 
might with little impropriety and less secrecy 
visit geisha. The resulting evils were, in the 
works of Mr. Fukuzavva just cited, impressively 
presented. Other social reformers there have been 
and are, but they lacked the courage to attack these 
abuses. It is greatly to the honor of Mr. Fukuzawa 
that he was the first writer intelligently and en- 
thusiastically to advocate reform along these lines. 
He asserted that women are the equals of men in 
natural faculties ; that women should be treated as 
helpmates of men not as their playthings ; that the 
gradual degeneration of the Japanese race in stature 
and physique is owing principally to the fact that 


women have become weak in mind and body in 
consequence of the circumstances just mentioned : 
and he proposed to give them more power and 
responsibility, the right of property, more pleasure, 
and to make social intercourse between the sexes 
more frequent. 



IN recognition of the services of Mr. Fukuzawa as 
an educator and as a writer, the Japanese govern- 
ment in 1888 (Meiji 21) offered to confer upon him 
the degree of Doctor of Literature ; but he declined 
the honor. Again in 1890, when the Imperial Diet 
was established, he was offered a life appointment as 
a member of the Upper House. This appointment 
he likewise declined. 

Dr. Kitazato, who is now a famous bacteriolo- 
gist, returned to Japan in 1892, after completing a 
course of study in bacteriology under Dr. Koch in 
Germany. He was eager to establish an institution for 
the investigation of infectious diseases ; but, as he 


was then an unknown bacteriologist, he could find 
no one to provide the necessary funds. When Mr. 
Fukuzawa heard of this, he sympathized with him 
and offered to help him in his undertaking. Accord" 
ingly Mr. Fukuzawa built at his own expenses a large 
building for the purpose and even promised to supply 
the money required for conducting the scientific 
investigations. This institution gradually developed 
and is now supported by the government under the 
presidency of Dr. Kitazato. Dr. Kitazato says, " If 
Mr. Fukuzawa had not helped me in my enterprise, 
I doubt if bacteriology would have been so developed 
in Japan as it now is. Therefore he may be called, 
not merely my helper, but also the promoter of 
bacteriology in Japan." 

In 1893 a bronze statue of Mr. Fukuzawa, life size 
in a sitting posture, was completed. The artist was 
Mr. Ujihiro Okuma who, it is said, spent three years 
on the work. The cost of the statue was about 3,000 
yen, and was paid by Mr. Obata, Mr. Fukuzawa's first 
pupil and later co-worker, and other disciples. The 
unveiling ceremony was performed, in the presence of 
many Keio Gijuku alumni, at the Keio Gijuku hall, 
October 2gth, 1893. Mr. Fukuzawa read an address 
at the meeting, the gist of which is as follows : 


" To speak frankly, I am naturally devoid of vanity and do not think 
so much of acquiring fame as other people do. It is but little matter with 
me whether I shall leave an honored memory after my death. I do not 
care for adornment of any kind and so it makes no difference to me 
whether a statue is made in my memory or not. When it was proposed 
to make this statue, many times did I tell Mr. Obata and other gentlemen 
that it would be waste of money and that they had better contribute so 
much money to the funds of this school of ours. Yet you persisted in 
your proposal and this beautiful statue has been finished. I think you 
have some special motive in this. I dare suppose that this statue has 
been made not merely to preserve my likeness but principally for a 
monument of the Keio Gijuku which is the embodiment of my spirit and 
principles. If I am right in my guess, this statue may be called a repre 
sentation of the Keio Gijuku. And so long as this statue exists, the Kei6 
Gijuku must be kept in existence also. Thinking that the Keio Gijuku 
will last for ever together with this statue, I shall leave no anxiety abou 
the future of it. It is my earnest hope that the Keio Gijuku may become 
the centre of learning and morals and that it may enable Japan to sur- 
mount innumerable obstacles in her course of civilization." 

In July, 1894, the Japan-China War broke out, 
and the whole nation was in profound anxiety about 
its issue. Then Mr. Fukuzawa's patriotic sentiments 
reached the highest tide and he did his utmost for 
his country. In the leading columns of the Jiji 
Shijnpo, he earnestly advised his countrymen to fight 
with all their energies and to support their govern- 
ment in all its plans. These articles of the Jiji Shimpo 
contributed much to the unanimous passing through 
the Lower House of the revenue bill providing enor- 
mous war funds. With Mr. Yeiichi Shibuxawa and 
a few other distinguished men, he organixed a society 


called Hokokukwai or the " Society for Repaying 
the State's Blessings " whose object it was to raise 
subscriptions from individuals in order to contribute 
money to the war funds. They proclaimed their 
intention throughout the Empire and set about to 
collect contributions. The government was highly 
pleased with their intention ; but public loan bonds 
had been already issued by it for raising war funds 
and some statesmen feared that this proposal might 
diminish subscriptions for the bonds. They thought 
that the promoters of the society had better exercise 
their influence in persuading the people to purchase 
the bonds. Count Inouye, though not then in office, 
was an earnest advocate of this view. Mr. Fukuzawa 
and other promoters of the society thought this 
opinion reasonable. They therefore dissolved their 
society and exerted themselves to assist the govern- 
ment in placing the public loan. Mr. Fukuzawa, 
however, contributed 10,000 yen to the war funds. 

In August or September, 1895, the Emperor 
offered Mr. Fukuzawa a peerage in recognition of his 
past distinguished services to the state, but Mr. 
Fukuzawa's democratic principles led him steadily to 
decline the offer. 


On the twelfth of December, 1895, four hundred 
and fifty followers and friends of Mr. Fukuzawa, in 
accordance with a Japanese custom, gave a grand 
banquet in honor of his sixty-first birth-day. His 
sixty-first birth-day actually came on the same date 
of the previous year, but its celebration had, on 
account of the Japan-China War, been deferred. At 
this happy gathering, Mr. Obata as representative of 
the hosts read a congratulatory address, in which the 
following passage is found : " Let us drink to the 
health of Mr. Fukuzawa. Let us do so, not only as 
his friends and followers, but also as Japanese citizens 
for the sake of civilization in Japan." 

In February, 1896, " Fukuzawa's Hundred 
Essays " was published. It has been so eagerly read 
by the public that it has gone through twenty-four 
editions. Mr. Fukuzawa, it is said, began three or 
four years earlier to write these essays. In this 
work, his style and his thoughts are found at their 
best, and it is undoubtedly his master work. Prof. 
Dening's criticism of it, which appeared in the 
Japan Weekly Mail of February 10, 1900, is given 
in Appendix A. 

" Complete Works of Fukuzawa " in five large 
volumes was published in September, .1897. In 


February of the following year appeared " Mr. Fuku- 
zawa's Talk on the Intercourse between Men and 
Women ; " and in the following month was published 
" Lessons for Young People." In the same year, 
appeared " The Autobiography of Fukuzawa" which 
was written by a short-hand writer at the dictation 
of Mr. Fukuzawa. A considerable portion of the 
present biography is based on material contained in 
the Autobiography. It has reached its twenty-fourth 
edition. Mr. Fukuzawa concluded his Autobiography 
with these words : " There are three objects which I 
desire to accomplish in my remaining years. The 
first of them is to elevate the character of all the 
Japanese, to make them worthy of the name of a 
civilized nation ; the second is to encourage the 
spread of Buddhism or Christianity and thus to 
tranquillize the hearts of my countrymen ; and the 
third is to help scholars in their study of profound 
theories, physical or philosophical, by supplying them 
with plenty of money. One, though old, ought not 
to spend one's days in idle repose as long as one is in 
good health. So I will do my best for the state as 
long as I am healthy." 

Mr. Fukuzawa's last work is " Criticisms of 
Kaibara's Great Learning for Women and New 


Great Learning for Women " which was brought 
out in February, 1899. He began to write it in the 
middle of August, 1898, and completed it about 
the twentieth of the following month. Kai- 
bara was a famous moralist of the Chinese school 
who lived almost two hundred years ago. Mis 
" Great Learning for Women " is a summary of the 
accepted opinions of his day on the status of women. 
Some works previously* written by Mr. Fukuzawa 
had been intended to give an impetus to a movement 
in favor of the emancipation of women. They were, 
however, much in advance of public opinion and 
their immediate results were disappointing. The 
" rights of women " were not greatly extended. On 
this subject, public opinion remained exceptionally 
conservative. It was loath to accept in theory or in 
practice the suggested reforms, and was still es- 
sentially embodied in the precepts of Kaibara. 
Consequently Mr. Fukuzawa now made a direct and 
vigorous attack on Kaibara's work. Every doctrine 
it contained was subjected to a merciless and destruc- 
tive criticism. Mr. Fukuzawa then concluded his 
essay with precepts of his own for the position and 

* These are " On Japanese Women," " On Conduct," " Intercourse 
between Men and Women," and " On Japanese Men." See page 116. 


conduct of women, which he designated " New- 
Great Learning for Women." This work has been 
widely and eagerly read, especially by ladies. Effec- 
tually as it destroyed the rational foundation of 
Kaibara's doctrines, its practical influence neverthe- 
less remains regrettably slight. It assailed institutions, 
and ideas which are obviously and deeply rooted in 
prejudice and custom rather than in reason. Their 
reform ardently to be desired- must likewise be 
effected by a gradual transformation of ideas and 

On the afternoon of September 26, 1898, that is 
about a week after the completion of his last work, 
Mr. Fukuzawa, who had not known illness for many 
years, was unexpectedly prostrated by cerebral 
paralysis. His condition gradually became worse 
until the night of October 5, when his physicians 
declared, to the infinite sorrow of his family, friends 
and followers, that no rational hope for his recovery 
could be longer entertained. When the news of his 
illness appeared in the newspapers, the whole nation 
sank into profound anxiety. Numerous persons 
called daily to inquire about his condition, and the 
Keio Gijuku alumni of different localities sent repre- 
sentatives to condole with his famjly. Their Majesties 


the Emperor and Empress and His Highness the 
Crown Prince, as a token of deep sympathy with his 
family, graciously presented them with some bottles 
of wine and two boxes of cake. The Imperial 
Household Department ordered a daily report of the 
progress of the illness to be sent to Their Majesties. 
The Emperor again offered to confer a decoration 
upon Mr. Fukuzawa ; but his family, out of deference 
to his well-known principles, declined the offer. 
To the universal surprise and joy, the exceptional 
vitality of Mr. Fukuzawa reasserted itself and his 
wonderful reserve of physical energy tided him over 
the crisis. About the middle of October, he was 
able to leave his bed, and early in December he was 
almost completely restored to health. On his next 
birth-day, Dec. 12, about four hundred of his friends 
and followers held a banquet at the Koyo Kzvan or 
the " Maple Hall," in Shiba Park, to celebrate his 
recovery ; and on the same day banquets for the 
same purpose were given by the Keio Gijuku gradu- 
ates in many towns throughout the Empire. But the 
severe stroke had seriously impaired Mr. Fukuzawa's 
mental vigor. His power of memory was most 
affected. At times, he was unable even to recall the 
names of his wife and children. Happily this mis- 


fortune was only temporary, so that, after a few 
months, he had again recovered much of his former 
intellectual power. 


MR. Fukuzawa's health was not completely 
restored before he began to devote himself to 
the morals of his countrymen. Since her ports were 
opened to foreign intercourse, Japan had made rapid 
strides in science and art ; but the progress of morals 
was discouragingly slow. The older generation of 
Japanese was still dominated by the moral concep- 
tions of the Chinese school. The younger generation 
generally had little faith in these out-of-date doc- 
trines and had assumed a skeptical attitude towards 
all moral teachings. Deeply deploring this state of 
things, our old reformer determined to supply his 
countrymen with a code of morals that was suited to 
the progress of the times. He accordingly undertook 
to compile a code of practical ethics. In the execu- 
tion of this work, he invited the co-operation of Mr. 
Obata, President Kamada and Prof. Kadono of the 
Keio Gijuku, and of Messrs. Ishikawa, Hibara and 
his eldest son Mr. Ichitaro Fukuzawa. By the aid 


of frequent reference to his writings and speeches, 
and after much discussion, they successfully presented, 
in a small pamphlet, the main principles of his 
ethics. These were, after careful examination and 
some amendment by Mr. Fukuzawa, embodied in 
twenty-nine moral precepts. On February ir, 1900, 
they were finally adopted by Mr. Fukuzawa and his 
collaborators, in the following form : 

All those who are living in Japan, irrespective of sex or age, must 
obey the Imperial Court of uninterrupted lineage, for there is none who 
has not participated in its unbounded benevolence. This is a point about 
which there is perfect unanimity of opinion throughout the realm. Com- 
ing to another question of how the men and women of to-day should 
behave themselves, I must say that diverse as have been from ancient 
times codes of morals, it is evident that a code must conform itself to the 
progress of the times, and that in a society like the present, characterized 
as it is by ever-advancing civilization, there must be a code specially 
suited to it. Hence it follows that the tenets of personal morals and 
living must undergo more or less of a change. 

1. Everybody must make it his duty to act as a man and must 
endeavor to elevate his dignity and to enhance his virtue. Men and 
women of our fraternity must regard the principle of independence 
and self-respect as the cardinal tenet of personal morals and living, 
and by inscribing it deeply on their hearts must strive to discharge 
the duties proper to man. 

2. He is called a man of independence and self-respect who 
preserves the independence of both mind and body, and who pays due 
respect to his person in a way calculated to maintain the dignity 
proper to man. 

3. Working with an independent will and subsisting without 
the help of others, is the essence of the independence of life : hence 
it follows that a person of independence and self-respect must be an 
independent worker besides being his own bread-winner. 


4. Taking care of the body and keeping it healthy is a duty 
incumbent on us all by reason of the rules that govern human 
existence ; both body and mind must be kept in activity and in 
health and anything calculated to impair their health even in the 
least degree must be rigidly avoided. 

5. To complete the natural span of life is to discharge a duty 
incumbent on man. Therefore, any person who, be the cause what 
it may or be the circumstances what they may, deprives himself by 
violence of his own life, must be said to be guilty of an act inexcu- 
sable and cowardly, as well as mean, and entirely opposed to the 
principle of independence and telf-respect. 

6. Unless pursued with a daring, active and indomitable spirit, 
independence and self-respect cannot be secured ; a man must have 
the courage of progress and consistency. 

7. A person of independence and self-respect must not depend 
upon others in disposing of a question relating to his own personal 
affairs, but must possess the ability with which to deliberate and 
decide on it. 

8. The custom of regarding women as the inferiors of men is a 
vicious relic of barbarism. Men and women of any enlightened 
country must treat and love each other on a basis of equality, so that 
each may develop his or her own independence and self-respect. 

g. Marriage being a most important affair in the life of man, 
the utmost care must be exercised in selecting a partner. It is the 
first essential of humanity for man and wife to cohabit till death 
separates them and to entertain towards each other feelings of love 
and respect, in such a way that neither of them shall lose his or her 
independence and self-respect. 

10. Children born of man and wife know no other parents but 
their own, and in the same way the parents recognize no children 
besides their own. The affection existing between parents and their 
children is the purest kind of affection and the first preliminary of 
domesiic felicity consists in not interfering with the free play of this 

11. Children are also persons of independence and self-respect, 
but while they are yet in their infancy their parents must take charge 
of their education. The children on their part must, in obedience to 


the instructions of their parents, diligently attend to their work, to 
the end that they may get well grounded in the knowledge of getting 
on in society, after they have grown up into men and women of 
independence and self-respect. 

12. In order to act up to the ideal of persons of independence 
and self-respect, men and women must continue, even after they have 
grown up, to attend to their studies, and should not neglect to 
develop their knowledge and to cultivate their virtue. 

13. At first a single house appears, then several others grad- 
ually cluster round it, and a human community is formed. The 
foundation of a sound society must therefore be said to consist in the 
independence and self-respect of a single person and a single family. 

14. The only way to preserve a social community consists in 
respecting and not violating, even in the least, the rights and the 
happiness of others, while maintaining at the same time one's own 
rights and one's own share of happiness. 

15. It is a vulgar custom and unmanly practice unworthy ol 
civilized people to entertain enmity towards others and to wreak 
vengeance upon them. In repairing one's honor and in maintaining 
it, fair means must always be employed. 

1 6. Every person must be faithful to his business, and anybody 
who neglects the duties of his state in life, irrespective of the relative 
gravity and importance of such duties, cannot be regarded as a person 
of independence and self-respect. 

17. Every one must behave towards others with candor, for 
it is by reposing confidence in others that one renders it possible 
for them to confide in him, while it is only by means of this mutual 
confidence that the. reality of independence and native dignity can be 

1 8. Courtesy and etiquette being important social means for 
expressing the sense of respect, they should not be ignored even in 
the least degree ; the only caution to be given in this connection is 
that both an excess and a deficiency of courtesy and etiquette should 
be avoided. 

19. It is a philanthropic act which may be regarded as a 
beautiful virtue of man, to hold the sentiment of sympathy and 


affection towards others, and so to endeavor not only to alleviate their 
pains but also to further their welfare. 

20. The sentiment of kindness must not be confined to men 
alone, and any practice that involves cruelty to animals or any 
wanton slaughter of them must be guarded against. 

21. Culture elevates man's character while it delights his 
mind, and as, taken in a wide sense, it promotes the peace of society 
and enhances human happiness, therefore it must be regarded as an 
essential requisite of man. 

22. Whenever a nation exists there is inevitably a Government 
which attends to the business of enacting laws and organizing 
armaments with the object of giving protection to the men and 
women of the counntry and of guarding their persons, property, 
honor and freedom. In return for this, the people are under obliga- 
tion to undergo military service and to meet the national expenditures. 

23. It is a natural consequence that persons who undergo 
military service and pay the national expenditure, should enjoy the 
right of sitting in the national legislature, with the view of 
supervising the appropriations for the national expenditures. This 
may also be considered as their duty. 

24. The Japanese people of both sexes must ever keep in view 
their duty of righting with an enemy even at the risk of their life and 
property, for the sake of maintaining the independence and dignity of 
the country. 

25. It is a duty of the people to obey the laws of the country. 
They should go further and should attend to the duty of helping to 
enforce those enactments, with the object of maintaining order and 
peace in the community. 

26. Many as are the nations existing on the earth with different 
religions, languages, manners and customs, the people constituting 
those nations are brethren, and hence no discrimination should be 
made in dealing with them. It is against the principles of indepen- 
dence and self-respect to bear/ one's self with arrogance and to look 
down on people of a different nationality. 

27. The people of our generation must fulfill the duty of hand- 
ing down to our posterity and in an ameliorated form the national 
civilization and welfare which we have inherited from our forefathers. 


28. There must be more or less difference in the ability and 
physical strength of men born in this world. It depends upon the 
power of education to minimize the number of the incompetent and 
the weak, for education, by teaching men the principles of indepen- 
dence and self-respect, enables them to find out and to develop the 
means to put those principles into practice and to act up to them. 

29. Men and women of our fraternity must not be contented 
with inscribing on their own hearts these moral tenets, but endeavor 
to diffuse them widely among the public at large, to the end that 
they may attain the greatest possible happiness, they with all their 
brethren all over the wide world. 

At the end of February, the Code of Morals 
was, by a formal ceremony in the auditorium of the 
Keio Gijuku, presented to the teachers and the stu- 
dents of the institution. Soon afterwards, it was 
published in the Jiji Sliiinpo. A large number of 
copies was printed separately and widely distributed. 
Most of the newspapers and magazines throughout 
the country inserted it, and commented on it gener- 
ally favorably. Some conservative persons attacked 
with vehemence special points in it. Most promi- 
nent among those who assailed it was Ur. Inouye, 
a professor in the Imperial University at Tokyo. 
The most vigorous and obstinate objections raised by 
such adverse critics were (i) against making indepen- 
dence and self-respect the basis of morality, and (2) 
against the idea that " a code of morals must 
conform itself to the progress of the times/' But 


the Code of Morals was eagerly welcomed by 
scholars of progressive views.* 

Encouraged by the reception accorded by the 
public. to the Code of Morals, Messrs. Ichitaro Fuku- 
zawa, Kamada, Kadono, Kitagawa, and some others 
have since devoted much time to personal explana- 
tion and advocacy of the doctrines therein contained. 
For this purpose, they have travelled extensively in 
various provinces, held conferences and delivered 
public addresses in all the important towns along 
their route. Most Japanese have perceived the 
errors and imperfection of the old morals, and Mr. 
Fukuzawa's ethics has begun already to gain their 
warm approval. 

The precepts contained in the Code of Morals 
are not mere abstractions. They are generalizations 
which embody the substance and spirit of Mr. 
Fukuzawa's writings and addresses, and are especially 
rules of practical conduct which he observed 
throughout life. They are for his writings and his 
life what Herbert Spencer's " Principles of Ethics " 
is for his " Synthetic Philosophy." Their precise 
formulation into a Code of Morals was an appropriate 
crowning act for a beautiful life. 

* See Appendix B. 


In recognition of Mr. Fukuzawa's immense 
services to the country, His Majesty the Emperor 
presented him, May, IQOO, with 50,000 yen, which 
he immediately transferred to the endowment funds 
of the Keio Gijukti. 


N the evening of January 25, 1901, Mr. Fuku- 

zawa was visited by a second stroke of cerebral 
paralysis. Again the whole nation shared with his 
"family and immediate friends the deepest anxiety. 
Five days after the attack, Their Majesties the Em- 
peror and Empress sent a messenger bearing presents 
of cake and sympathetic inquiries concerning the 
condition of the sufferer. Similar presents and 
inquiries followed two days later from Their High- 
nesses the Crown Prince and Princess. From the 
beginning, the gravity of his illness was recognized, 
but as the general symptoms did not differ materially 
from those witnessed on the occasion of the first 
attack, hope was not abandoned. On the afternoon 
of the third of February, however, the patient's 
strength declined rapidly. At the same time, 


action of the heart began to fail and at 10:50 p.m. 
our venerable teacher breathed his last. He was 
then in his sixty-eighth year. 

From one end of the Empire to the other, the 
sad news of Mr. Fukuzawa's death awakened feelings 
of the deepest regret. Through the leading columns 
of all journals in the Empire, the great national 
sorrow received appropriate and impressive expres- 
sion. In addition to messages of condolence, the 
Imperial Court sent 1,000 yen towards the funeral 
expenses. The House of Representatives unan- 
imously passed a vote of condolence the first 
honor of the kind ever conferred upon a Japanese 
citizen. The administrative committee of the Con- 
stitutional Association ( a political party represented 
by a majority in the Lower House) and some 
400 other organizations educational, political and 
business likewise voted resolutions of condolence. 
Various sums were contributed to the endowment 
funds of the Keio Gijuku in honor of the deceased 
educator. During the interval between the death 
and the interment of Mr. Fukuzawa, the residents of 
Mita draped their shops and houses in black as a 
token of their sympathy and sorrow. Many of them 
also closed their shops on the day of the funeral. 


It was announced that the bier should leave the 
house at one o'clock on the eighth. Long before the 
appointed hour it seemed as if all Tokyo were gather- 
ing about the Mita Hill where the residence of the 
deceased was situated. Assembled at the house and at 
the school were multitudes, not only of eminent men 
of the city, but also of delegates from every part of 
the Empire who had hastened to Tokyo to pay the 
last tribute of respect to their leader. Among those 
assembled were some Ministers of State and no small 
number of foreigners, including some Hindoos and 
Koreans. The distance traversed by the enormous 
procession on its way to Zempukuji (temple) is about 
one mile. On either side, the entire route was lined 
by dense masses of spectators. The students of the 
Keio Gijuku, some seventeen hundred in number, led 
by their military corps, did silent escort duty. 
Following them came the simple but elegant bier 
and then the great column of mourning friends, which, 
massed eight deep, extended almost from the house 
to the temple. There was not a carriage or jinriki- 
sha in the funeral procession. In marked keeping 
with the simplicity of the life thus honored in death, 
as well as in accordance with the wishes of the 
deceased, all the gaudy features of a Buddhistic 


funeral were omitted a fact which added to the 
solemnity and impressivcness of the obsequies. The 
spectators, with bared heads, observed the passing 
column in respectful silence. At sight of the bier, 
many women clasped their hands and burst into 
sobbing. On arrival at the temple a simple but 
impressive funeral ceremony \vas performed. The 
procession again formed and attended the remains to 
their last resting place, Hongwanji (temple), in Osaki 
Village. There the last sad rites ended at half past 
five o'clock, and all that was mortal of the great 
teacher was appropriately left in the solitude of the 
winter twilight. 

Several incidents connected with the death and 
burial of Mr. Fukuzawa aptly illustrate the vener- 
ation which his character and work had inspired. 

The students of Keio Gijuku University were 
not willing to have the remains of their great teacher 
borne to the tomb by hired laborers. They there- 
fore earnestly begged that, instead of the customary 
hired laborers, thirty of the strongest among their 
own number should be selected to perform this service. 
The affectionate thoughtfulness implied in this 
proposal deeply moved the funeral committee. But, 
lest some accident might happen if this course were 


adopted, the proposal was with much reluctance- 

While the preparations for the funeral were being 
made, a lady called at the residence of the deceased. 
She revealed neither her name nor any other evi- 
dence of her identity, but simply delivered to the 
usher some daffodils and a branch of plum-blossoms 
to be dedicated to the spirit of the deceased, 
accompanied by a letter which read : 

Tokyo, Feb. 8, 1901. 
" To Mrs. Fokuzawa. 
Dear Madame, 

Having read the late Mr. Fukuzawa's excellent articles 
in theyyt Skimfo written on behalf of the Japanese women, I thought 
him a kind friend of women and regarded him with gratitude and re- 
spect, although I had never the honor of personal aquaintance with him. 

I am very sorry for his death: I feel, indeed, as if a relation of 
mine had died. Inferring from my sorrow , how great the sorrow of 
you and of your family must be, I sympathize with you ! 

I wish to dedicate the accompanying flowers to his spirit as a slight 
token of my gratitude to him. Be so kind as to do so for me. I will 
attend his funeral to-day. 

It is my earnest prayer that his noble spirit may remain for ever 
in this world to be a constant companion of the Japanese women. 

Yours most cordially, 

A Woman of Mita." 

Two or three days after the death of Mr. Fuku- 
/awa, the following letter was sent through the post 
to his widow : 


" To Mrs. Fukuzawa Utsunomiya, February, 1901. 

All her family. 

Dear Mrs. Fukuzawa, 

For the past several years my family and 1 myself 
have been subscribers of the Jiji Shimpo ; and the excellent views of 
the late Mr. Fukuzawa have so much influenced us that the several 
youths in my store behave well and act on the principle of independence 
and self-respect which was taught by the deceased teacher. I am much 
obliged to him for this. 

Furthermore, sympathizing with the Japanese women whose 
status in society is low, Mr. Fukuzawa exerted himself for their cause ; on 
account of which I regarded him with more gratitude and respect than 
gods and Buddha. 

I prayed that he should live even to a hundred years ; and what is 
my sorrow and surprise at the intelligence of his death ! I sympathize with 
you in your bereavement. I should like very much to attend his funeral, 
but I am very sorry business prevents me from doing so. As a token of 
my gratitude and sorrow, I write you this poor letter. 

I hope that you will do your best in spreading the noble 
teachings of the deceased teacher. 

Yours most faithfully, 

A Merchant Woman of 


Mr. Fukuzawa left at his death a wife and nine 
children, of whom four are sons and five are daughters. 
The eldest son Mr. Ichitaro has succeeded to his 
father's estate, and is editor of the ///'/' Shimpo. 

The second son Mr. Sutejiro is manager of the ///'/ 
Sliimpo. The third and fourth sons are students the 
former in England and the latter in the Keio Gijuku. 
The daughters are all married. 




MR. FUKUZAWA had an exceptionally pleasant 
and commanding personal appearance. Five 
feet nine inches tall, he was in stature much above 
the average for Japanese. He had a large face, with 
a prominent nose and a broad forehead. His firmly 
set mouth and massive chin expressed determination 
and decision of character. His large, lustrous, steady- 
eyes indicated candor, intelligence, keen and active 
powers of observation. He was of a strong constitu- 
tion and rather corpulent, weighing about one 
hundred and fifty pounds from his youth to his later 
years. He had a thick beard but always kept it 
closely shaven. He once said to a friend, " See how 
large and sinewy my hands and feet are ! If I had 
become a laborer, 1 should have led a happier life. 
It may be a mistake in my life to have become a 

scholar and to trouble myself so much." 

Naturally he was very healthy and every care 

was taken to preserve his vigor. He ate food veiy 
slowly and never took anything between his regular 
meals. Much of his time was devoted to physical 


exercise. When he was a young man, he learned 
iai or the art of drawing a long sword, in which 
he attained considerable proficiency ; and in his later 
years he often practised it for exercise. He rode 
horse-back well, and during some years this was his 
favorite exercise. Other forms of exercise frequently 
resorted to by him were cutting fire-wood and 
pounding rice in a mortar. Me was an early riser 
and generally did not burn the midnight oil. Early 
in the morning while his neighbors were still asleep, 
he arose and walked in the fresh morning air. In 
these walks, he went a few miles out into the suburbs, 
wearing sandals, a big stick in hand, and accompanied 
by two or three young students of the Keio Gijuku. 
Before supper, he practised one of the other forms 
of exercise above-mentioned, most frequently the 
pounding of rice. He never allowed bad weather to 
interfere with his exercise. 

As already stated, Mr. Fukuzawa was very fond 
of sake. After he came to Yedo, his income enabled 
him' to indulge his taste for drink. He usually 
drank in the morning, at noon, and in the evening. 
He also welcomed any 'additional chance opportunity 
to drink. But when he became thirty-two or thirty- 
three years old, he thought that drinking so much 


would shorten his life. Accordingly he resolved 
gradually to diminish his daily consumption of sake 
until he might be able entirely to abstain from it. 
At first he gave up his morning sake and next his 
noon allowance ; but he experienced great difficulty in 
abstaining from his evening sakt. He tried each 
successive evening to drink less and less. His 
appetite demanded more drink ; his will commanded 
a smaller satisfaction. Thus there was a daily 
struggle between desire and will, and three years 
elapsed before he could entirely dispense with the 
evening cup. Finally his tenacious will asserted 
absolute sovereignty over desire, and in his later 
years he never tasted a glass of sake or any other 

Unlike most Japanese gentlemen, he had no 
taste for curios or objects of fine art, autographs or 
paintings, architecture or gardening. Simple in his 
dress and in furnishing his house, he hated anything 
like luxury. It is said that if he found any article of 
luxury in his house he would sell it and replace it 
with a cheaper and coarser one. He held in con- 
tempt the general usage of prizing the autographs 
of famous scholars. Once he had a hanging scroll 
made by one of his pupils who wrote a good hand ; 


and he hung it on the wall of his parlor. He would 
say to every visitor, " This scroll has no signature. 
Whose performance do you think it is? " Supposing 
that a man like Mr. Fukuzawa would hang up noth- 
ing but the work of a celebrated caligrapher, the 
visitor would admire it very much and add, " I sup- 
pose the writer must be some famous Chinese or 
Corean caligrapher." Mr. Fukuzawa would then 
feel like laughing but would not confess the truth. 
One day a number, of his friends happened to meet 
at his house. Then he told the truth. They were 
surprised and began to criticise the caligraphy, say- 
ing, " This stroke is awkward. That is clumsy." He 
said with laughter, " What critics you are ! You see 
scrolls with the ear, not with the eye. If I had said 
this was written by a famous ancient caligrapher, you 
would surely have admired it." The guests were 
struck dumb. 

It was a characteristic of Mr. Fukuzawa that he 
never troubled others about his personal affairs. He 
swept and dusted his room. He went and purchased 
his ink and paper. He polished his shoes and even 
shaved himself. Sometimes he performed the duties 
of his wife or servants. When he pounded rice for 
exercise he was sure to sift the bran and to clean the 


mortar. Me once had a valuable ink-stone* which 
had been presented by a friend. He prized it very 
much and did not allow his family to use it. He- 
washed it every time it needed washing and never 
allowed others even to touch it. It was a treasure 
with him for many years. One clay while engaged 
in writing he fell into a profound meditation. While 
he was thus meditating, his eye caught the ink-stone 
which needed cleansing. He called his maid-servant 
and ordered her to take it away and wash it. While 
washing the ink-stone the maid accidentally broke it. 
She ran to him with it and in tears begged his 
pardon. Then his spell of meditation was broken and 
he much regretted the loss of his treasure. But not 
a word of anger escaped his lips. He simply said to 
her, " Never mind. This is the consequence of my 
having asked you to wash it. 1 am to blame and not 

Mr. Fukuzawa was a beneficient man. When 
Mr. (now Viscount) Buyo Enomotot was taken 

* An ink-stone is a piece of hard stone with a hollow, used for 
holding Japanese ink. 

t Mr. Buyo Enomoto, who had learned in Holland the science 
of naval war, was, at the time of the Meiji Revolution, commandant 
of the naval fleet of the Bakufu. When the ex-Shogun Keiki had 
surrendered the castle of Yedo to the Imperial army in April, i86S 


prisoner by the Imperial army and was about to be 
executed, Mr. Fukuzawa tried every possible means 
to save his life and at last had him set at liberty. 
There are many other instances, in which he made 
extraordinary exertions to help others. One summer 
a student of the Keio Gijuku died. His parents were 
poor and his home was very far from Tokyo, so that 
none of his relatives were able to attend his funeral. 
Two or three class-mates undertook preparations for 
his funeral. When Mr. Fukuzawa heard of this, he 
felt very sorry and offered to defray the entire 
expenses. He also attended the funeral. His 
benevolence seems to have increased with his years. 
In his later years, whenever he went out for a walk- 
he took with him a little change for beggars. 

(See the chapter on the Meiji Restoration), Commandant Enomoto 
was unwilling to yield. Accordingly, he, with some other naval 
officers, sailed northward with eleven men-of-war. Proceeding to 
Yezo, they captured the castle of Matsumaye ; and before long 
a large portion of the island came under their rule. Over this 
territory, they set up an independent government. The Emperor 
despatched a fleet against them ; and warlike operations between 
the rebels and the Imperial troops lasted till May, 1869, when 
the rebels surrendered to the Imperial troops. Mr. Enomoto was 
sent to Yedo and afterwards he was about to be executed, when 
Mr. Fukuzawa came to his rescue. Many years later Mr. Enomoto 
held an important office in the new government and was created a 


Very sociable and cheerful of disposition, Mr. 
Fukuzawa was also rather talkative. He could talk- 
pleasantly with anybody man or woman, young or 
old. His breadth of knowledge and exceptional 
common sense enabled him to speak on almost every 
subject and to adapt his conversation to the capacity 
of the fellow-talker. He maintained the same 
attitude towards everybody, whether gentleman 
or laborer, lady or maid-servant. He was not 
only entertaining with his own speech and 
skilful in leading the conversation, but he was also a 
good listener. His sound judgment was in part 
formed by listening to others talk. Mr. Obata 
happily remarked, " Mr. Fukuzawa used people as 
books." Mr. Fukuzawa had frequent visits from 
persons representing almost every variety of tempera- 
ment and occupation : lawyers, doctors, educators, 
statesmen,' journalists, even laborers. In the course 
of conversation with such visitors, he induced them 
to speak of their specialities and questioned them 
minutely on every topic that occurred to him. Thus 
he was able to acquire a vast knowledge of various 
subjects. By the application of his clear intellect to 
the analysis and synthesis of what he had heard, he 
would form quite original views. Consequently he 


would later surprise those from whom he had received 
his information by the superiority of his knowledge. 

Mr. Fukuzawa was remarkable for his excellent 
conduct. He never spoke of obscene things. He 
never associated with women of ill repute. He did 
not even know, as he says in his Autobiography, 
where the Yoshiwara and other quarters for pros- 
titutes were situated. His life in the home was 
exemplary. He was a kind husband, a benevolent 
father, a good-tempered grand-father, and a good 
master. Musicians, story-tellers, and even actors 
were invited to his house to perform ; and he enjoyed 
their entertainments with his family. There was no 
secret in his home. Equality and liberty were 
realized by the members of his family, and all were 
intimate and sympathetic friends. His home was a 
miniature republic of which he was the president. 
Indeed no home-life could have been simpler, purer, 
more free, open or attractive. How he loved his 
family is shown by the following fact. While his 
eldest and second sons studied in the United States 
of America, he wrote to them regularly once a week. 
The total number of letters sent by him during their 
stay of six years was over three hundred. It is said 
that he wrote so minutely about the current events 


in Japan as well as the incidents of his home, that his 
sons on their return to Japan were as well informed 
about the changes which had occurred during their 
absence as if they had not been abroad. He was not 
only a man of theory but also emphatically a man 
of practice. Whatever he thought or said about 
morals he practised. There was in Japan no one 
better entitled to teach morals. 

Since his motto was " independence and self- 
respect " and since he thought that money is the 
foundation of independence, Mr. Fukuzawa was very 
careful about the use of money. He says in his 
Autobiography, " There is nothing so hateful to me 
as debt, except assassination. I am a great coward 
with regard to money : I have not courage enough 
to borrow it." He never during all his life borrowed 
even a penny. He would have starved rather than 
incur debt. He not only abhorred debt, but he also 
hated to get money at the slightest sacrifice of his 
self-respect. Soon after the Restoration, a great 
merchant of Yokohama established a school in that 
city, and its teachers were selected from among the 
Keio Gijuku graduates. The merchant expressed to 


Mr. Fukuzawa a desire to have him superintend the 
school, but Mr. Fukuzawa was unwilling to accept 
the offer. Mr. Fukuzawa's sons were still young 
children, but it was his earnest wish to send them 
abroad for study when they became old enough. 
However it was extremely doubtful whether he would 
be able to afford this, and it was to him a source of 
constant anxiety. The Yokohama merchant, having 
heard of this, came to him again and after repeating 
the former request, said, " If you don't wish to take 
any salary for your services, let me now offer you 
15,000 yen for the expenses of educating your sons 
abroad. If you deposit the money at interest in 
some bank, it will grow into a larger sum by the time 
they are old enough to go abroad. Please grant my 
earnest request." 1 5,000 yen was then a big sum to 
Mr. Fukuzawa. Almost any other man would have 
assented to the proposal. But he stuck to his first 
resolve and positively declined the offer, being quite 
unwilling to sacrifice his will for the sake of money. 
Afterwards by industry and thrift he made a 
moderate fortune and was able to send abroad, not 
only his sons, but also his nephew Mr. H. Nakami- 
gawa, who until his recent demise, was at the head 
of the Mitsui Bank. 




Foreigners and Japanese are agreed in thinking Mr. 
Fukuzawa to be one of the most remarkable men of 
the day. By his own countrymen he is regarded with 
profound respect almost amounting to worship. 
Candour, simplicity, courage, disregard of rank and 
titles, common sense, earnestness, great decision of 
character, these are qualities which are as highly 
esteemed by the Japanese as by ourselves and Mr. 
Fukuzawa possesses them all in an eminent degree. 
Everybody gives Mr. Fukuzawa the credit of being 
quite sincere in the views he holds and all acknowl- 
edge that he wields enormous influence throughout 
the country. The public reads with great avidity 
everything he writes. His books run through edition 
after edition at an astonishingly rapid rate and there 
are few current questions on which he has not 
something pointed to say. His newspaper is won- 
derfully well informed, not only on the internal 
affairs of this country but also on the policies of 

* The Japan Weekly Mail, Feb. 10, 1900. 

I 5 2 .-/ I.1PK 01- Mr. YUKICHI FUKUZAWA. 

Western countries. Old though he is, Mr. Fukuzawa 
shows no signs of having lost his interest in the march 
of events. A recent article in his newspaper, to quote 
only one instance among many, maps out with 
remarkable accuracy the probable course of events in 
the Transvaal when the present war is over and the 
two Republics become English protectorates. 

Although all are agreed that Mr. Fukuzawa is a 
very striking personality, there are not a few Japa- 
nese and a great many foreigners who hold that his 
views are anything but elevating. They think his 
ideal to be a low one. Some writers pronounce it to 
be materialistic to the core, in the sense that, accord- 
ing to them, nothing but worldly ends are repre- 
sented to be worthy of constant pursuit. Others 
affirm that in stating his views Mr. Fukuzawa uses 
exaggerated language and that his followers are 
misled by this and push his doctrines to undesirable 
extremes. Others say thar Mr. Fukuzawa has figured 
too much as an opportunist and that he has sanc- 
tioned and even recommended his followers t3 
outwardly conform to forms of religious belief which 
he himself does not think worthy of acceptance, for 
the sake of the secondary benefits such outward 
conformity confers. All this and much beside has 


been said of him. He has been condemned for his 
scepticism, and it has been said that he has no 
adequate idea of the important place that man 
occupies in the Universe. The present writer has 
for many years studied Mr. Fukuzavva's writings with 
considerable interest, and in order to show precisely 
what are the actual views of the Mita sage on 
religious belief, human life, and kindred subjects has 
gone to the trouble of examining very thoroughly 
his 100 short essays, a book which as early as last 
April had reached its twelfth edition and has now 
reached the sixteenth. In this volume he has given 
us his maturest thoughts and convictions. The 
various essays furnish abundant data whereon to base 
an opinion of the general character of Mr. Fuku- 
zawa's teaching. In as short a space as possible we 
will state what he has to say on the principal subjects 

Essay I. is on the " Universe. " All thoughtful 
men, says the essayist, are agreed that there is a 
certain sublimity and a certain mystery about the 
Universe, that the way in which numbers of diverse 
laws work together in realising certain ends is very 
wonderful. It is admitted that there is something 
inexplicable connected with the Universe. It would 

154 A I JFK OF Mr. VI /A7C/// FUKUZAWA. 

be no doubt convenient to give this a name, and 
religious people call it " God, " whom they assume 
is the maker of the Universe. I cannot use that 
name as I know nothing of God. When young I 
was taught to speak of all things beyond man's 
strength to perform as the work of " Heaven, " and 
nature's laws were spoken of as Heaven's way. This 
language is used for the sake of convenience. It 
teaches us nothing. All that is certain is that there 
are many things that are beyond our comprehension. 
The feeling that nature produces in us is one of 
wonder and admiration. As to actual causes we have 
no certain guide. 

Essay II. is on nature's work and dwells on the 
uniformity of nature's laws and of their wonderful 
comprehensiveness. Nothing great or small is uncon- 
trolled by the law from huge planets to specks of 
dust. And we human beings are part of the great 
system of nature. 

In Essay III. the view is expressed that nature is 
favourable to man. The following is the gist of 
what Mr. Fukuzawa has to say on this subject. In 
all times there has been much discussion over the 
question of nature's attitude towards mankind. The 
Chinese philosophers asked whether Heaven's laws 

A I'P END IX A. 155 

were for or against us Temmei ze(Jj& ka, hi($) ka ? 

The principal features of their treatment of the 
subject consisted in lamentations over the many 
misfortunes and drawbacks encountered in this life- 
There are those who contend that floods, tempest, 
earthquakes, war, robbery and the like are all proofs 
that Heaven's laws pay no regard to man's comfort 
and happiness. But it must not be forgotten that 
man is endowed with intelligence that will in the end 
enable him to conquer most of the ills of life. Judg- 
ing by the rate of progress he is now making, in five 
or six thousand years there will be few calamities 
that his skill and forethought will be unable to pre- 
vent. Distant generations will be able to surround 
themselves with happiness of which we have little 

In Essay IV., the title of which is " Hope for the 
Future," the same subject is continued. The history 
of the past is pronounced to be most encouraging. 
The appearance every now and again of moralists 
like Confucius and great scientists like Sir Isaac 
Newton enables mankind to make rapid progress. 
Such lights will go on appearing for centuries to come 
and eventually man will have no complaint to make 
against his environment. 

156 / /.//-'A' OF Mr. \TKIC.H1 /-/'AY '/.//?'./. 

Essay V. deals with " Cause and Effect." It is 
contended that the assumption that nature is fa- 
vourable to us and that there is no real injustice in 
the conditions to which she has subjected us implies 
that the whole chain of cause and effect as seen in 
things material and things mental cannot be justly 
taken exception to by us. Most of the evils of 
mankind come from their own sins. Though there 
are cases of innocent people suffering, yet on the 
other hand the wonderful intelligence displayed in 
nature's arrangements, the superiority of her ways 
to our ways, should keep us from charging her with 
causing the misfortunes which cross our path. In- 
stead of accusing nature, we should do better to set 
about righting ourselves. 

Essay VI. asks and answers the interesting ques- 
tion, " Should we or should we not entertain a feeling 
of gratitude " (to nature) ? This essay appears in full 
witn a translation on p. 322 ct seq. of Mr. B. H. 
Chamberlain's " Introduction to the Study of Japa- 
nese Writing." From Mr. Chamberlain's translation 
we make a few short extracts. After enumerating 
various sources of happiness furnished to us by uature, 
the essayist proceeds thus " Such is the condition 
of man, swimming in a sea of happiness. Never- 

APPENDIX st. 157 

theless, when we proceed to ask whether he ought 
or ought not to feel grateful for these favours, 
whether, to speak colloquially, he should say 
thank you for them, a doubt naturally suggests 
itself. For mark the word ' favour.' It includes 
the notion of benevolence, kindly action ; and 
gratitude for these presupposes the existence of 
some person by whom. the benevolence is exercised. 
But the great machine of the Universe, marvellously 
as it is constructed, shows no trace of any special 
constructor ; and even if, for argument's sake, we 
coin the word 'Creator' and apply it in this 
context, attaining thereby to apparent logical sat- 
isfaction, then we must find some maker for the 
maker of the Creator. Thus we should go on ad 
infinitum, and, when all was said and done, the only- 
conclusion arrived at would be that the world is a 
great machine marvellously constructed. It is a 
great machine originated by chance, and we human 
beings are born by chance, and really form part of 
the machine. We may illustrate this by the case of 
an engine which should move of itself in a marvellous 
manner, while yet there was absolutely no means of 
ascertaining the existence of the motor power, 
steam ; and man would correspond, say, to one nail, 


or to a minute particle of the iron of that engine ; in 
all those revolutions he would participate, but as he 
would naturally ignore* the causes which brought 
it all about, no search on his part would bring to 
light any one whom he ought specially to thank 
for the favour of whirling him round. All that 
can be done is to contemplate the vastness, the 
infinity, the immeasurableness, the marvellousness 
of the great machine, and to discern ever more and 
more clearly*our own insignificance and weakness." 
In the same essay nature is defined as " merely 
a marvellous and spontaneous series of events, from 
which it is impossible to deduce the existence of 
any person causing those events to be what they 
are." And the conclusion arrived at is thus 
concisely and lucidly stated : " A single iutnnitablc 
order of nature can justly excite neither gratitude 
nor resentment ; for it is plain tliat, being 1 so rasf 
as it ts, u<e, in our position as human beings, can 
no more dan- to praise titan to blame it." (The 
translation is Mr. Chamberlain's, the italics are 

* The translation here t^ems to us a little misleading. The 
original is, misukara sono shikaru ytten "no shirazarcbti, which means 
simply " as he himself would not know the causes which brought it 
about." " Naturally ignore " introduces another idea, it seems to us. 


ours). The sage continues : " Calm, unbiased reflec- 
tion shows us that the fact of human beings being 
born as human beings belongs to the same order as 
that of fish being fish, or birds being birds, or 
a man or woman of thirty being thirty ; there is 
in it no special cause for joy, or yet for astonish- 
ment. Nature suits man and all other living 
creatures. This is simply because nature is nature ; 
it is no mark of any special and particular favour. 
If nature did not suit man and other creatures, 
then men and things as we now know them would 
not exist on the surface of this globe, nay ! the 
globe itself could not then wear its present aspect. 
Thus it is only because nature is suitable to their 
origination that things exist at all. It is not because 
things exist that we are justified in inferring any 
special favour towards them on nature's part. To 
notice things and then treat them with particular 
kindliness is an exclusively human trait, and it 
argues ivant of appreciation of the greatness of tlic 
great machine to judge nature s handiwork by our 
petty schemes." In a note at the end of this essay 
Mr. Fukuzawa tells us that this discussion is only 
designed for the learned, and he expresses a fear 
that the ignorant may misunderstand it. As trans- 


lated by Mr. Chamberlain, he says, "In fine, grati- 
tude being a sentiment which springs from piety, 
the proper course for wise men to pursue in the 
present uncultivated condition of the world is to 
foster virtue in the foolish by leaving such piety 
undisturbed, whether its origin be superstition or 
emotion." The above words express Mr. Fukuzawa's 
habitual teaching on the treatment that religion 
should receive at the hands of the learned : it should 
be tolerated as a necessary superstition for the sake 
of its good effects on the ignorant. 

The title of Essay VII. is Ningen no Anskin 
(" Man's Composure of Mind "). It lays special 
stress on the insignificance of mankind in the great 
scale of creation. It is in this essay that man is 
compared to an insect that is born in the morning 
and dies at night, to dust, and to a maggot. His life 
is represented as quite unimportant. The world can 
get on without him. The argument is that most 
forms of anxiety and discontent originate with over- 
estimation of the importance of life. Life should 
be regarded with the indifference and lightness of 
heart with which \ve regard our sports. Nothing 
lasts long, not even the most distressing circum- 
stances, and therefore nothing is worth harassing 


one's soul about. But at the same time we must 
make the best of life and fulfil its duties. Indiffernce 
should be carried far enough to fortify us against 
being crushed by reverses, but not to the length 
of making us neglect any of the means of bettering 
our position placed within our reach. As the views 
expressed in this have been very much misunderstood 
and misrepresented by both Japanese and foreigners 
and have been pushed to greater lengths than is fair 
to Mr. Fukuzawa, we quote a few lines of the essay 
in order to show that he guards against the wrong 
use of his argument. The passage in which the 
objections of these critics are forestalled and an- 
swered is on p. 38 of the Essays and begins, for we 
cannot quote the whole, Slide ui sckai ni uinare idc 
tarn nc zva, itjimnsJii nagara sod no kakitgo naki wo 
yezu, sono kakngo to iva jinsci iva Iionrai tmvainure to 
sliiri nagara, kono tawaniurc zvo tawarniirc to sexu sliitc, 
adakamo inajiinc ni tsutomc, liinku zvo saritc fnrakii 
ni kokorozashi, c. " Having come into the world, 
though we be nothing but maggots, we must make a 
suitable preparation for living. And this preparation 
for living will mean that though we regard life as a 
joke we shall act as though it were a very serious affair 
and endeavour to avoid both poverty and pain and 

162 ./ /-//'A 1 Of- !\h: )Y r A7(7// />CJCcy..\ll'A. 

aim at obtaining wealth and pleasure, etc." Mr. 
Fuku/awa goes on to say that all the duties of life 
must be scrupulously fulfilled. The lightness of 
heart which he enjoins is intended to be an antidote 
to the despondency which an over-serious vie\v of 
life is apt to cause in a certain class of minds. 

Essay VIII. treats of the Standard of Right and 
Wrong. This standard, according to the essayist, is 
no other than the embodiment of the opinion of 
mankind generally, or of that of various nations, in 
reference to the quality of actions. It may be said 
that actions of which a community disapproves are 
wrong and those of which they approve arc right. 
Thus the standard must ever change with the 
change of man's opinion as to the quality of 
actions. Men reason about all actions and come 
to some definite conclusion about them, that is, 
they declare them to be good or bad. Religion 
attempts to set up a higher standard than this, 
and teaches that actions have inherent qualities 
quite irrespective of what people think about 
them. The standard of morals with people 
who believe in religion is derived from the teaching 
of men who arc supposed to have been sent by God 
to tell mankind what is right and wrong. This found- 


ing of moral teaching on supernal uralism no doubt 
offers many advantages when it is sought to influence 
certain minds. Though I myself do not believe in 
religion, I can see how it becomes profitable to others 
and how there are cases in which as a device for 
leading men into the paths of virtue it may succeed. 

In Essay IX. Mr. Fukuzavva maintains that good 
is held in higher esteem than evil by most men. 
Man is naturally inclined to be good. Even bad men 
respect goodness in others and in their better mo- 
ments wish to be virtuous. Wickedness is not usual- 
ly the result of a deliberate preference for what is 
bad, but is only the result of folly. The numerous 
pleasures attached to virtue and the pain that is so 
frequently a concomitant of vice teach most men to 
strive to attain to the former and to avoid the latter. 

The argument elaborated in Essay X, is not easy 
to follow and to not a few it appears contradictory. 

The essayist himself seems conscious that the view 

of man that he propounds here stands in apparent if 
not actual antagonism to the teaching of Essay VII. 
The limitless desires and high aspirations of man 
form the theme of Essay X. Man finds himself in 
possession of a mind that can free itself from all the 
trammels of time and space and soar to sublime 

164 -'/ fJFl-: OF Mr. YCK1CHI /-/'AT/ III .1. 

heights. This is some compensation for the extreme 
insignificance of his existence here and at times it 
leads him to forget how unimportant he is. Com- 
pared with the existence of the millions of units of 
which the universe is composed the span of life of 
any individual man is infinitesimally trifling, and his 
remembering this helps him to bear his lot with 
composure, but it is given to him to conceive of 
higher states of existence than any that he can enjoy, 
to live in a world of thought and imagination. His 
aspirations know no limits. The consciousness that 
he possesses an all-exploring mind imparts to his life 
a loftiness and dignity it would not otherwise possess. 

In Essay XI. it is maintained that a virtuous dis- 
position is in many cases nothing but an appreciation 
of what is beautiful in conduct. This is the old 
Greek idea. Their kalos expressed both the beauti- 
ful and the good, just as aiskros was used for the ugly 
to look at and for the morally bad. 

In Essay XIII. the benefits of regarding things 
lightly are set forth in a somewhat new aspect. Light- 
heartedness is declared to be conducive to activity 
and zeal. It must not be over-looked that the levity 
of mind on which Mr. Fukuxawa dwells so much is 
a quality that the whole nation has cultivated more 


or less for years, and that it has been repeatedly 
commented on by foreign observers as one of the 
most conspicuous traits of national character. It is 
a form of Stoicism. Mr. Fuku/awa thinks that it 
does not in this country lead to fatalism, nor accord- 
ing to him does it engender carelessness. The 
title of Essay XIII. is striking, /ibntsu ivo Karoku 
initc, hajimetc kivappatsu nant zuo ubcshi (It is only 
by looking at things lightly that one can become 

To those who have asserted that Mr. Fukuzawa is 
a mere man of the world, who grovels in the dust and 
possesses no lofty ideal, we would recommend Essay 
XIV, which urges in eloquent language the necessity 
of our ever setting before us a high ideal and of our 
daily striving to reach it. Men of learning have 
the means of finding out what is the highest ideal of 
virtue, and as for those who have no other guide, they 
should fall back on religion, which can furnish them 
with better ideals than they can frame for themselves. 
In Essay 100, he takes up the subject of ideals again, 
and points out that in the present state of the world 
absolute perfection is unattainable, but in the far dis- 
tant future, when knowledge will have so advanced 
that the material world will have disclosed all its 

i66 ./ 1. 1 1- E 01' Mr. YUKKRI fUKUZAWA. 

secrets to man, when in all spheres of inquiry the 
chain of cause and effect will be quite clear to all 
inquiring minds, absolute perfection may be attain- 
able. This last essay, as it is the longest, is in many 
ways the most interesting of the series. It gives the 
basis of the optimism that pervades all Mr. Fuku- 
zawa's writing. Mr. Fukuzawa is an optimist because 
he has unbounded confidence in man's potentiality. 
He thinks that the world's evils are all curable and 
that man's happiness during his sojourn here can be 
made quite complete. His belief in the future of 
mankind is based on the marvellous progress in 
knowledge that has been made in the past. 

We have confined ourselves in this review to a 
consideration of Mr. Fukuxawa's opinions on the 
deeper questions of philosophy. But in so doing we 
have failed to give an adequate idea of the compre- 
hensive nature of the volume of essays as regards 
subjects. There are few topics of interest connected 
with human life on which he has nothing to say. 
He discusses many types of virtue and many types 
of vice and he brings to all his discussions practical 
common sense. His system of philosophy seems to 
us incomplete and in many particulars inconsistent. 
His unqualified optimism is only possible because he 


fails to give due weight to the many irremediable 
evils of man's existence in the world, and he expects 
from the study of physics and other sciences far more 
than it is in the nature of these branches of knowl- 
edge ever to yield. But with all this he displays a 
wonderful knowledge of human nature, and no writer 
that we have studied shows clearer discernment of 
what is and what is not possible in the sphere of 

Great umbrage has been taken by some at the 
attitude assumed by Mr. Fukuzawa to religion. 
They say that it is an insult to the learned men who 
still profess Christianity to say that it is a religion 
that is not needed by the highly educated, but that 
it doubtless proves useful to ordinary folks. But 
after all is not this just the very attitude tacitly 
assumed by the majority of thinkers in Europe and 
America? Thousands we may perhaps say mil- 
lions of men steer quite clear of religion themselves, 
never enter a church except for a funeral, a wedding, 
or a baptism, but they think it natural that their 
women folk should go to church, and that even a 
certain class of men should find religion helpful to 
them. The only difference between Mr. Fukuzawa 
and the majority of Western thinkers is this. He 

168 . / IJFE OI-" Mr. Yl 'h'lCIH I- 1 'A'( '/,. \W. 1. 

states in the plainest language his opinion on the 
subject of religion and its function in the world ; 
the}- usually maintain a discreet silence. But their 
practice and the confidential communications made 
by them to friends conclusively show that in reality 
their attitude to religion is precisely that of Mr. 
Fuku/.awa. Surely Mr. Fukuzawa is not to be 
blamed for having the courage to say what he thinks 
on this subject. We fail to see any real disrespect for 
the convicitions of others in the attitude complained 
of. Orthodox Christians must bear in mind that 
other people can have convictions on religious 
subjects that are quite as conscientious as theirs' 
One of these convictions is that religion as received 
and explained by the orthodox is false. The motto 
of this class of thinkers is i-igeat trritas, ct pcrcas 
urtt/u/iis. Nothing can induce them to accept teach- 
ing that to them appears absolutely unreliable. But 
they are advocates of liberty of belief and do not 
attempt to interfere with the conscientious convic- 
tions of other people. They even hold the view that 
there are many illusions that do good ; that comfort 
and help of various kinds can be received from 
falsehoods. History shows that men and women arc 
capable of being deeply affected by lies and may per- 

APPENDIX .1. 169 

form many good actions under the impulse received 
from teaching that subsequently turns out to be 
quite false. To Mr. Fuku/awaand to many Western 
thinkers religion appears to be a device for getting a 
certain class of people to perform virtuous actions, 
which they would not otherwese perform. Now 
the world is better for these actions, and as a 
machine for turning them out religion has never 
been surpassed. It therefore makes little matter 
whether supernaturalism is capable of proof or not. 
To assume a personal God, miracles, heaven, and 
hell gives an authority to moral precepts that they 
could not otherwise possess. Hence let them be 
assumed. Don't try to knock down effective error in 
order to establish ineffective truth. The world is 
not educated up to the higher philosophy. To 
proclaim it prematurely and indiscriminately would 
do more harm than good. " A certain degree 
of general ignorance," says a well-known Western 
thinker, " is the condition of every religion and is 
the element in which alone it is able to exist, while 
as soon as astronomy, natural science, geology, 
history, knowledge of countries and nations have 
spread their light universally, and philosophy is 
finally allowed to speak, every faith which is based 


on miracle and revelation must perish and then 
philosophy will take its place." This is Mr. Fuku- 
/.awa's view and he adds, " In the meantime, 
encourage religion." It fills a space and thus the 
vacuum which nature hates is avoided. But when 
Mr. Fuku/awa goes still further and recommends 
young men to profess a religion whose doctrines 
they consider erroneous for the sake of secondary 
benefits to be obtained thereby, as he did some years 
ago in a most public manner, we can no longer defend 
him. This, it seems to us, is recommending 
dishonesty. Those who enter the Christian Church 
are called upon to make a public confession of their 
faith. To repeat words affirming belief in doctrines 
which the candidate deems false to most right-minded 
people would appear absolutely heinous. Yet this 
is what Mr. Fukux.awa recommended some years 
ago. Whether he still holds such a proceeding 
allowable we do not know. 

But these minor discrepancies and imperfections 
in his views can never hide from us the greatness of 
Mr. Fuku/.awa's life as a whole. For nearly four 
decades he has figured as an out-and-out advocate*of 
the superiority of Western thought and learning. 
This advocacv has been a most whole-hearted affair. 


There have been no faltering moments, no retrograde 
steps. In essay XXXIV he argues that nothing great 
can be accomplished if a man's mind is never made up 
on any question. The half-way house between doubt 
and belief is not a place where one should stop long. 
The opinions which he has expressed have all a ring 
of decision about them, and this it is which has made 
his writing so popular. The majority of his readers 
read in order to be informed and they welcome fixed 
opinions. Dogmatism carried to a certain degree is 
absolutely essential to successful teaching. In all 
the subjects which he treats Mr. Fukuzawa takes a 
side and so presents his views that there is no room 
for an opposite theory. Mr. Chamberlain has 
pronounced Mr. Fukuzawa to be shallow. We 
confess we have failed to discover in what his shal- 
lowness consists. He has treated some of the deepest 
questions of life and of philosophy in, as it seems to 
us, a very effective manner, and has shown no 
tendency to shirk difficulties of any kind. The essay 
which Mr. Chamberlain translated for his " Intro- 
duction to the Study of Japanese Writing," already- 
cited, struck us as displaying depth rather than 
shallowness. His contention in that essay would be 
supported by many great writers in the West. Shal- 

172 ,/ l.TFK (>/' Mr. YUKKttl FUKUZAWA. 

lowness is a term of reproach that \vc should never 
think of applying to Mr. Fuku/.awa. To us it seems 
that what lie discusses he discusses thoroughly. 
Subjects that could not possibly be made intelligible 
to ordinary readers he leaves alone. For mysticism 
of any kind he has no taste. He is eminently 
practical and hence represents the English or 
American type of mind rather than the German. In 
Japan he is quite a new product. Me is in every 
sense of the word a self-made man. It would be hard 
to find a man that knows Japan better than he and 
impossible to find any one who has won for himself 
more universal respect from all classes of society. 
His pen is still active. Even while we write a scries 
of supplementary essays written by him is appearing 
in the //ji Sliiinpo, and in the leading columns of 
that journal we often recognise his practised hand. 
'Advanced scholars are wont to talk of the Mita sage 
;is a man of the past, but among a very large number 
of people his popularity has never been greater than 
it is to-day. 




It is well-known that for over twenty years the 
Japanese have been searching for a ne\v basis of 
ethics. Opinion on this subject may now be said 
to have settled clown to three distinct lines of 
thought. (i) There are those who maintain that 
religion is the proper and the only sure basis for 
ethics. (2) There are those who believe that 
philosophy alone furnishes a satisfactory basis. (3) 
There is the practical school, which contends that 
morality, like all other things in the world, can only 
be judged by the benefits it confers on those who 
observe it, that the only ethical basis that has a 
chance of being understood and appreciated is one 
that appeals to the faculty that judges of moral 
facts, the internal consciousness. 

(r). In reference to the first of these views it is 
necessary to observe that by religion we mean a 
creed based on a belief in miracles or a supernatural 
interference with the working of nature's laws. 
Speaking of the Japanese as a nation, after more 

* The Japan Weekly Mail, June 23, 1900 


than a quarter of a century's study of them \ve have 
no hesitation in saying that there is not the shadow of 
a chance of their accepting this basis for any system of 
national ethics that they may construct. From what 
we wrote more than twelve years ago on this subject 
we beg leave to make a short extract. The words re- 
presented the ideas of leading Japanese on the subject 
of the religious basis for ethics at the time they were 
written, but we venture to think that they have been 
strongly emphasized by the tendency of Japanese 
thought during the past four or five years. " The 
idea that morality, to be taught effectually, must be 
based entirely on religion has been for years in every 
part of the world the source of incalculable mischief. 
Religion, we use the term in its ordinary sense as 
applied to a system of faith and ceremony claiming to 
be based on some kind of supernatural revelation, has 
to do with things far off, mystic; incomprehensible 
such as rewards and punishments in a future life, the 
need of semi-miraculous spiritual influences, the nature, 
attributes, and self-revelations of Gods and divinities. 
Morality, or Ethics on the other hand, deals with 
what is near, lucid, practical, intelligible such as 
rewards and punishments in this life, mental and 
physical ; the grand practical reforms to be effected 

APPENDIX n. 175 

by a thorough application of admitted ethical prin- . 
ciples ; our duties as human beings, as members of 
society, and as citizens. To maintain that to induce 
a man to act rightly in matters which immediately 
concern him, the only plan is to direct him to 
something that remotely concerns him ; that in order 
to persuade him to act in the best manner possible 
for this world, you must induce him to fear the 
punishments and expect the rewards of another 
world, appears to ordinary common sense illogical. 
With the old system a certain amount of progress 
was made. Men have in the past in certain countries 
and for a certain time been moral because they were 
superstitious, but that the Japanese, who in all other 
matters take delight in being abreast of the age, 
should, in their eagerness to attain a certain end, 
confine themselves to a set of means that, as Professor 
Huxley and others have shown, are being more and 
more discarded in the West, is too much to expect. 
Instead of morality deriving strength from 
being based on religion, in as far as it rests on this 
basis it is weak and open to attack. About so-called 
religious doctrines very few people agree. But 
whether the man who speaks the truth or the man 
who lies is the man to be esteemed ; whether kindly 

1 76 . / /, // A' O /' Mr. \ Y 'KlCflf I-! VvV "X ///'./. 

feeling is not preferable to malice ; whether the 
honest, plain-speaking man is not to be chosen as a 
friend rather than the smooth-tongued, flattering-, 

o * o j 

and double-faced ; whether the man who maintains 
his family, helps his relations, and is always ready to 
serve his country is not better than the man who 
skulks out of all such duties, and the like these 
are matters about which all civilized people are 
agreed." * 

(2). Religion, divested of its siipernaturalism, as 
Christianity, Buddhism, and Mohammedanism have 
been divested by certain sects and schools of thought, 
becomes a system of philosophy. As such we grant 
that it may form a basis for ethics to a select few. 
The trouble is that ethics founded on philosophy are 
quite unintelligible to the majority of those persons 
who most need guidance in morals. We know of no 
system of philosophic ethics that does not require 
very special talents and technical training in the 
student who aspires to understand and act upon it. 
We are then confronted with the fact that, though 
morality is of vital importance to the whole world, 
only a very small section of human society takes any 

* Vide Japan Mail, March 17, 1888, " The Japanese in search 
of a Basis for Ethics.'' 

APPENDIX n. 177 

interest in philosophic questions. Does not this fact . 
put ethics founded on philosophy out of court in an 
inquiry such as we are conducting? It is not a basis 
of ethics that may suit a fe\v highly cultured men that 
the Japanese are in search of, but a basis that can be 
understood and appreciated even by that very typical 
personage the " man in the street." 

(3). Realising all the above-named difficulties 
and many more which we have not deemed it neces- 
sary to state, Mr. Fukuzawa has for a great many 
years been an earnest preacher of practical utilitarian 
ethics as the only system that possesses the two 
essential attributes of thorough intelligibility and 
great effectiveness. Until acts are considered right 
or wrong because of their proved consequences in 
this world, says Mr. Fukuzawa, there can be no 
universally satisfactory basis for morals. Many hard 
things have been said about utilitarianism as an 
ethical creed, but we have no hesitation in saying 
that in every case those who have represented 
utilitarianism as an ignoble belief have misunderstood 
the meaning of the word utility in some way or 
other. As Mill has observed, " questions of ultimate 
ends do not admit of proof in the ordinary acceptation 
of the term. To be incapable of proof by reason 

178 A LIFE OF Mr. YUK1CHI FUK17ZA //'-?. 

is common to all first principles ; to the first premises 
of our knowledge, as well as to those of our con- 
duct." Questions about ends resolve themseves into 
questions as to what things are desirable. Now the 
whole human race is agreed in thinking happiness to 
be desirable, and that is sufficient proof that it is 
desirable. Happiness may be said to have made 
out its title to be one of the ends of conduct and 
therefore one of the criteria of morality. This is 
held by all utilitarians, but no well-informed utili- 
tarian will assert that happiness is the sole criterion 
of morality. He will admit that virtue also is 
desirable for itself and also as a means of happiness. 
Speaking broadly, the view of the utilitarian is that 
the welfare of the community and the welfare of 
individuals in every respect is the final object of all 
morality, as it is of all other existing enlightening 
agencies. He does itot hold that morality is one 
and the same in all times and for all persons. He 
realises that in the different stages of progress 
through which individuals and nations pass different 
moral principles need to be enunciated. Certain 
general principles may be said to be fixed, but the 
application of these must depend on circumstances. 
Briefly stated, these are Mr. Fukuxawa's views. The 


Mita system of ethics, as it is now known in Japan, 
did not wholly originate with Mr. Fukux.awa, 
though doubtless it is in the main an embodiment of 
his views. The S/inshin Yoryo, in which the system 
is unfolded and explained, was compiled by certain 
teachers in the Keiogijuku and afterwards received 
the sanction of Mr. Fukuzawa. A full outline of the 
contents of the S/ttis/iin Yoryo was given in the 
March Monthly Summary of the Religious Press 
(March Qth). Owing to the way in which the Mita 
doctrines have been distorted by certain Christian 
writers on the one hand and by conservative writers 
like Dr. Inoue Tetsujiro- on the other, a few days 
ago* a concise account of the sense in which the 
terms " Independence and Self-respect," the basis 
of the Mita ethics, arc used in the ShtisJiin Yoryo 
was published in the Jiji SJiinipo : which we translate 

" Though it is not easy to convey in a few words 
all the breadth of meaning contained in the terms 
independence and self-respect, which form the basis 
of the system of morality propounded in the ShAshin 
Yoryo, the following explanation of the term, fur- 

* I'idi the issue of June ist. 


nished to one or two of the students of the Keiogijuku 
in response to inquiries on the subject, suffices to 
give some idea of their import. 

(i.) A man of independence and self-respect 
mixes freely with his fellow-men and has no small 
regard for them, but on this account he does not in 
the slightest degree alter his own convictions. 

(2.) A man of independence and self-respect 
exercises self-control and self-discipline. 

(3.) A man of independence and self-respect 
holds truth and integrity in high esteem and neither 
deceives himself nor deceives others. 

(4.) A man of independence and self-respect is 
anxious to help others to develop to the full their 
independence and self-respect. 

(5.) Although a man may by his personal efforts 
make a living for himself and his family, if he does 
not fulfil his duties to society at large, he cannot be 
called a man of independence and seif-respect. 

(6.) A man of independence and self-respect 
observes all obligatory rules without waiting to be 
told to do so by others. 

(7.) It goes without saying that a man of 
independence and self-respect should fulfil his duties 
to himself, his family, and his country, but he must 


also fulfil his duty to all mankind and to the lower 

(8.) He who is a slave to his own lusts and who 
has no control over himself, can neither be said to be 
independent nor to possess self-respect. 

(9.) He who, instead of being controlled by the 
forces of nature, uses them as a means of making his 
life refined, useful, and happy is a man of independ- 
ence and self-respect. 

(10.) He who is so ill-acquainted with truth as 
to be swayed to and fro by the wind of superstition 
is not a man of independence and self-respect. 

(u.) He who is so affected by the good or ill 
that may befall him as to lose his equanimity is not 
a man of independence and self-respect. 

(12.) He who knows how to accumulate money, 
but knows not how to spend it, is not a man of 
independence and self-respect. 

(13.) Arrogance is the result of a very despicable 
disposition of mind and is not entertained by a man 
who has self-respect. 

(14.) He who respects himself respects others; 
and he who despises himself despises others. 

These explanations undented ly clear the Mita 
system of ethics from the charges formulated by Dr. 

OF Mr. )Y'A7(7// /-7Vv7 /.///'./. 

Inouc Tctsujiro, and some Christian writers, to the 
effect that the " self " which is held up for esteem is 
an ignoble " self." We cannot understand how any 
careful reader of the Skiiskin Yoryo could accuse its 
compilers of making an inferior type of human nature 
the basis of an ethical system. Throughout the 29 
sections of which the work is composed a very lofty 
type of man is held up for imitation. The ideal man 
of the Mita school of ethics is a man who has 
cultivated to the full his moral nature (sec. 12), a 
man who respects the rights of others (sec. 14), a 
man who is averse to harbouring jealousy and hatred 
(sec. 15), a man who has a high sense of responsibility 
and who acts honestly and straightforwardly towards 
those to whom he is responsible (sec. 16), a man who 
trusts others and gives them good reason to trust him 
(sec. 17), a man who carefully observes the etiquette 
of life (sec. 18), a man who knows how to make allow- 
ance for the feelings of others (sec. 19), a man whose 
kindness of heart extends even to animals (sec. 20), a 
man who has been subjected to the refining and 
elevating influences of art and literature, a man who 
serves his country well, pays his taxes, and obeys the 
law (sec. 22, 23, 24 and 25), a man who treats 
foreigners as his equals (sec. 26), a man of progressive 

APPENDIX 3. 183 

spirit who aims at transmitting to posterity the civilt- ' 
zation he has inherited in an improved form (sec. 27). 
Two distinct classes of objectors to Mr. Fuku- 
x.awa's ethics have come forward. One of these, led 
by Dr. Inoue, objects to it on philosophic grounds, 
the other repudiates it on religious grounds. The 
sentiments expressed in Dr. Inoue's Sendai speech, 
reported fully in these columns, have, we observe, 
been restated in Tokyo, and have attracted a good 
deal of attention throughout the country. It seems 
to us that the objections to the Mita ethics stated in 
that speech will not bear examination. Let us take 
them in order. " A standard of morality," says Dr. 
Inoue, " ought to be universally applicable, and 
nothing can be plainer than the fact that Mr. Fuku- 
zawa's standard is not universally applicable." Now 
in the first place it is only fair to state that the 
compilers of the Shiishin Yoryo make no pretensions 
to supply the country with a new standard of 
morality. All they do is to lay stress on the 
importance of certain moral principles. But is it true 
to say that the various standards of morality in use 
to-day are universally applicable ? Does not every 
nation possess its own standard ? And is not the 
standard constantly undergoing change ? Is the 

1 84 ./ /.//-/-; 01'' Mr. \TKfC.lll /-//AY '/.-///'. /. 

standard the same in England to-day that it was fifty- 
years ago ? We are not now speaking of general 
abstract principles, but of that standard which each 
normal man and each normal woman has in his or 
her mind when considering actions, their own or 
those of others. Dr. Inoue has not given us his 
own standard and so we are not in a position to 
judge of it, but from many remarks that he has made 
we infer that it will prove to be absolute, and 
therefore practically unusable. Mr. Fuktizawa's 
doctrine, says Dr. Inoue, is a reaction from the sub- 
jection taught in this country for so many centuries 
and therefore is not to be relied on. Have not all 
important doctrines on religious and moral subjects 
been reactions ? Were not the doctrines of Shaka 
Muni and Christ reactions against the thraldom of 
prevailing ideas in India and Judaea respectively ? Has 
not the world's progress been marked by perpetual 
reactions ? '' Could morality exist at all if the doctrine 
of subjection to lawful authority were abolished ?" 
asks Dr. Inoue. Where in the Shfishm Y6ry6 is this 
course recommended ? Does not the Mita system of 
ethics lay stress on the importance of obeying all 
lawful authority (vide sees, ir, 24 and 25)? Dr. 
Inoue proceeds to set up another dummy, absolute 

APPENDIX />'. 185 

independence, and to demolish it to his own satisfac- 
tion. "Where in actual life," he asks, " is absolute 
independence possible ?" From Mr. Fukuzawa's 
writings scores of passages could be quoted which 
would all give the answer " nowhere." Dr. Inoue 
next proceeds to argue that 'he Mita system of ethics 
is Rousseauism dished up afresh. We confess that we 
fail to see the resemblance. Mr. Fulcuzawa is far too 
shrewd a man not to see that the doctrine of the 
equality of all men as it was understood in France at the 
time of the Revolution, even if proclaimed here, which 
as yet it has not been, would make no headway. The 
fault we have to find with Dr. Inoue's attack on the 
Mita ethics is that it entirely fails to represent them in 
their true light. The system is, of course, imperfect 
and intended to fill a gap. But it is quite untrue to 
say that there is anything ignoble or demoralising in 
it. It is quite unfair to say that it is an ignominious 
" Self " that Mr. Fukuxawa exalts to the throne in 
his new kingdom. We have strong suspicions that 
Dr. Inoue's chief grudge against Mr. Fukuxawa is 
connected with what Dr. Inone would call the pro- 
foreign bias of the Mita Sage. This stalwart apostle 
of Western methods and Western thought is an 
eyesore to men of conservative instincts like Dr. 

i86 . / /, ///: ( > / Mr. } Y/A7C/// y-Y 'A7. '/.//; : I. 

Inouc. Dr. I none holds Mr. Fuku/.awa responsible 
for prevailing money-worship. We ourselves, after 
very careful scrutiny, have come to the conclusion 
that there is very little money-worship anywhere in 
Japan. If money- worship consists of spending 
money almost as fast as it is made, if not a little 
faster, as Count Matsukata has lately told us is the 
custom with the majority of the Japanese, then the 
nation is composed of money- worshippers. Most sen- 
sible people will see that Mr. Fuku/awa's views on the 
value of money are those of advanced Western nations 
and that the premium put on poverty by Dr. Inoue is 
but the echo of a past state of thought that is in a fair 
way of being eradicated from the mind of the nation. 
The chief objection brought against the Mita 
system of ethics by Christian writers has alrady been 
partly answered. But another objection demands 
consideration. A very shrewd writer in the Koyc a 
short time ago maintained that human nature can not 
be considered noble if what Mr. Fukuzawa writes 
about it is true. Mr. Fukuzawa is a materialist, says 
this writer. " From the point of view of materialism 
there is very little difference between human beings 
and ordinary animals. Whence then comes the reason 
for man's self-esteem ? Is not his life utterly 

APPENDIX />'. 187 

insignificant? Dust he is and to dust he shall 
return. What is there in him that is worthy of 
honour ? The view of human nature adopted by 
Mr. Fukuzawa ill accords with the elevation of self- 
esteem into a basis of morality. If the immortality 
of the soul be ^denied, man ceases to occupy a 
prominent place in the Universe. The Christian can 
appreciate all Mr. Fukuzawa says about self-esteem, 
because his view of the origin and of the destination 
of man ennobles human nature. But in the absence 
of Christian belief self-esteem is meaningless and in- 
effective as a motive power. Mr. Fukuzawa has adopt- 
ed the conclusion to which Christians have come, 
namely, that human nature is noble and worthy of 
high honour, but he denies the premieses on which 
that conclusion rests. Hence his system of morality is 
illogical and can never effect much good." This is 
certainly a very powerful argument and an argument 
that to a certain extent is irrefutable. As was 
pointed out in these columns some time ago, Mr. 
Fukuzawa's system of moral philosophy reveals serious 
inconsistencies. But the question is, do not the two 
views of human nature given by Mr. Fukuzawa 
represent the true condition of man ? Is not his 
existence here regarded from one point of view 

189 .1 /.///-; ()/ ]/>-. Yf/A7i '//{ AY 'AY '/. I If. 1. 

utterly insignificant, while differently regarded it 
assumes great importance ? Can it be truthfully said 
that the importance attached to life by the majority 
of people even in so called Christian countries to-day 
is dependent on belief in the immortality of the 
soul ? We think that if a census of opinion could be 
taken on this point, the answer would be an emphatic, 
no. Men value life for what it yields of happiness, 
and invariably wish it to end when all hope of hap- 
piness is gone. Most of us are thoroughly convinced 
of the fact that the world can get on without us : 
that it is only those who depend on our work or our 
counsel that will really miss us. If we think it 
important to lengthen out our lives as much as 
possible, it is because we realise our responsibilities 
in one or other of life's many relationships to persons 
dependent on us. The importance of man on 
account of his high destiny or his divine origin may 
be said to be an exploded theory, that served a good 
purpose when man knew less about the universe and 
its laws than he does now. Now that we have 
discovered other planets and have pictured to 
ourselves the millions of beings that have inhabited or 
may in the future inhabit those distant regions, the old 
notion that the countless trillions of personal units 


that have appeared on this planet will have their 
separate individual existence perpetuated to all time, 
though it did good service in firing the imagination 
of a Dante or a Milton, is regarded by us as more 
serious but not more true than what Gulliver has 
written about Brobdignag, Laputa, and other places. 
Yet the fact remains, on which Mr. Fukuzawu lays 
stress, that man's life is, in all civilised countries, 
considered important. The argument of the defend- 
ers of religion, that you can have no satisfactory 
morality without religion, then falls to the ground ; for 
while belief in a supernatural religion is daily on the 
wane, there is not a single cnmmunity of any impor- 
tance in the world but acknowledges the necessity of 
morality and possesses its own special standard. 

Utilitarianism as a system of philosophy may be 
unintelligible to the masses, but Mr. Fukuzawa's 
adaptation of the leading principles of this system 
may be understood even by a man who has enjoyed 
few educational advantages. Of what docs and what 
does not conduce to the welfare of society most 
people are very fair judges. What stamp of man 
and what stamp of woman docs Japan need to possess 
in the Twentieth Century, when her competition 
with Western nations will yearly become keener? 

IQO A JJFE Or Mr. YVKICIll I- 1 *A7 '/ lll'.i. 

This is the question which the compilers of the 
Sh its/tin Yoryo have sought to answer. They have 
no doubt left many things unsaid and in our opinion 
have said some things that need not have been said. 
Among the latter insistence on independence of 
spirit, a quality which seems to us already developed 
to excess in most young men, must be included. 
But on the whole they are to be congratulated for 
having turned the discussion of ethics away from 
barren theories about abstract standards and centred 
it on practical life. They have appealed to common 
sense and will not appeal in vain. As for there being 
any authority for moral teaching beyond that which 
the consensus of an ever changing opinion gives to 
it, the notion is antiquated in the extreme and has 
been dismissed by the Mita moralists as unworthy 
of a moment's consideration. The Mita system is 
founded on the bed rock of bare fact and hence a 
stability not possessed by the aerial structures that 
pose as its rivals. Mr. Fukuzawa knows well what 
are the conscientious feelings of his fellow-country- 
men. To these he has appealed, and in doing so has 
adopted the course which moral reformers of all 
times and all countries have followed with success. 

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